The gels derived from mixtures of Pr(OiC3H7)3 and Zr(OiC3H7)4•iC3H7OH, upon hydrolysis and pyrolysis, furnish single-phase PrOy-ZrO2 materials crystallized in the fluorite structure. These materials can be coated onto high-surface-area γ-alumina powders or deposited onto dense α-alumina coupons in the form of thin films from a solution of parent alkoxides modified with 2,4-pentanedione in THF. The fluorite structure of the PrOy-ZrO2 in the films appears to be thermally stable in air up to 1200°C. Temperature-programmed-reduction (TPR) measurements show that the bulk PrOy-ZrO2 material with a Pr. Zr molar ratio of 1:1 can store and release oxygen while that with a molar ratio of 1:3 cannot.
The precursors play an important role in determining phase composition of the resulting PrOy-ZrO2 material. A mixture of monoclinic and cubic or tetragonal phases was found in PrOy-ZrO2 prepared from a new single-source heterometallic alkoxide, Pr2Zr6(μ4-O)2(μ-OAc)6(μ-OiPr)10(OiPr)10, whereas a mixture of cubic and tetragonal phases was present in PrOy-ZrO2 made previously by coprecipitation from aqueous solutions of the metal nitrates.