Oxide Ceramics

The class of binary metal oxides represents a very important group of materials as both grains and coatings because of their mechanical (e.g., ZrO2, HfO2), dielectric (e.g., Al2O3), conducting (e.g., SnO2), photocatalytic (e.g., TiO2), optical (e.g., Eu2O3), biocidal (e.g., ZnO), and magnetic (e.g., Fe3O4) applications. Nanocrystalline aluminum oxide is used for a large number of applications such as insulating layers, optical filters, wear-resistant coatings, and corrosion-protective films. In addition, high-surface-area aluminum oxides are used as catalyst support and adsorbents in industrial processes. The synthesis of so-called active aluminas by Yoldas [423] from aluminum alkoxides represents one of the fundamental steps taken toward the processing of highperformance materials from molecular precursors, which has been extended and modified during the last three decades, by several working groups (Tables 1-4).

Iron oxide films and nanoparticles are currently being extensively investigated because of their applications in catalysis, magnetic recording media, gas sensors, and anticorrosion protective paints [424-427]. Nanosized iron oxides

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