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 Post subject: CZ question
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:23 am 
It's well-documented that Russian scientists were finally able to get over the problem of zirconium oxide's very high melting point by 'containing it in itself' - i.e. skull melting. This was apparently after previous methods to synthesise the material had failed.

But why were they trying in the first place? Was it some kind of theoretical chemist who decided "this hypothetical compound/structure would be hard and diamond-like", or did a bit of the material occur naturally to display it's potential properties as a diamond simulant?

Wikipedia says "Baddeleyite" existed earlier, and links to it's page. However, this material is monoclinic and clearly a mere polymorth of CZ. It also only has a Moh's hardness of 6.5.

If a few crystals of this compound did occur naturally, in the cubic form, is am actual find possible/plausible? Or does the unique challenged faced in its synthesis mean that such a situation occuring naturally is almost impossible?


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 Post subject: Re: CZ question
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:19 am 
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The artificial product cubic zirconia typically contains up to 40% of yttrium or calcium oxide added to the source powder in order to allow it to crystallize as isotropic crystals.


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