Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 243–253 | Cite as

The effect of high temperature heat treatment on the structure and properties of anodic aluminum oxide

  • M. Kylan McQuaigJr.
  • Alejandro Toro
  • William Van Geertruyden
  • Wojciech Z. Misiolek


Nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes can be fabricated with highly controllable thickness and porosity, making them ideal for filtration applications. Use of these membranes is currently limited largely due to their size and overall fragility. The objective of this research was to improve mechanical properties of AAO membranes through use of high temperature heat treatment to induce phase transformations in the material. A repeatable two-step anodization process was developed for consistent sample fabrication and heat treatments were performed at 900 °C and 1200 °C in air. The pore morphology and phase composition of the as-anodized and heat-treated membranes were then observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Microhardness testing was utilized to evaluate the mechanical behavior of the membranes before and after heat treatment. As-anodized AAO membranes were determined to be amorphous, and membranes heat-treated to 900 °C and 1200 °C were transformed to crystalline phases while retaining their original porous structure. Heat treatment to 900 °C resulted in formation of the γ-alumina transition phase in the skeleton regions of the membrane and nanocrystalline regions of α-alumina throughout the structure, while heat treatment to 1200 °C completely transformed the material to the stable α-alumina structure. The microhardness testing showed an increase in hardness from 2.5 ± 0.4 GPa to 4.7 ± 1.0 GPa in the transformation from amorphous to α-alumina.


Differential Scanning Calorimetry Anodic Aluminum Oxide Anodic Aluminum Oxide Membrane High Temperature Heat Treatment Commercial Membrane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funding for the research was provided by the National Institute of Health (grant NIAID_1R21AI081638-01A2). The authors wish to thank The Loewy Family Foundation for the support through the Loewy Graduate Fellowship (M.K. McQuaig, Jr.), Loewy Visiting Professorship (A. Toro) and Loewy Professorship (W.Z. Misiolek). The authors also thank Adrián Gómez from the National University of Colombia for his valuable help with DSC and TGA measurements.


  1. 1.
    Keller F, Hunter MS, Robinson DL (1953) J Electrochem Soc 100:411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Masuda H, Fukuda K (1995) Science 268:1466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Li XZ, Wei XW, Ye Y (2009) Mater Lett 63:578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sauer G, Brehm G, Schneider S, Nielsch K, Wehrspohn RB, Choi J, Hofmeister H, Gosele U (2002) J Appl Phys 91:3243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Masuda H, Satoh M (1995) Jpn J Appl Phys 35:L126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nagaura T, Takeuchi F, Yamauchi Y, Wada K, Inoue S (2008) Electrochem Commun 10:681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Thompson GE, Wood GC (1981) Nature 290:230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vrublevsky I, Parkoun V, Schreckenbach J, Marx G (2003) Appl Surf Sci 220:51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ko S, Lee D, Jee S, Park H, Lee K, Hwang W (2006) Thin Solid Films 515:1932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Palibroda E, Indrea E (1994) Thin Solid Films 240:88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gall K, Liu Y, Routkevitch D, Finch DS (2006) J Eng Mater Technol 128:225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Xia Z, Riester L, Sheldon BW, Curtin WA, Liang J, Yin A, Xu JM (2004) Rev Adv Mater Sci 6:131Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sui YC, Cui BZ, Martinez L, Perez R, Sellmyer DJ (2002) Thin Solid Films 406:64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mardilovich PP, Govyadinoy AN, Mukhurov NI, Rzhevskii AM, Paterson R (1995) J Membr Sci 98:131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Levin I, Brandon D (1998) J Am Ceram Soc 81:1995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Damani RJ, Makroczy P (2000) J Eur Ceram Soc 20:867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Dwivedi RK, Gowda G (1985) J Mater Sci Lett 4:331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kirchner A, MacKenzie JD, Brown IWM, Kemmitt T, Bowden ME (2007) J Membr Sci 287:264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mata-Zamora ME, Saniger JM (2005) Rev Mex Fis 51:502Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ozao R, Ochiai M, Ichimura N, Takahashi H, Inada T (2000) Thermochim Acta 352–353:91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Xiong G, Elam JW, Feng H, Han CY, Wang HH, Iton LE, Curtiss LA, Pellin MJ, Kung M, Kung H, Stair PC (2005) J Phys Chem B 109:14059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kindratenko V (1997) Ph.D. Thesis, University of Antwerp, Belgium, 182 ppGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fernandez-Romero L, Montero-Moreno JM, Pellicer E, Peiró F, Cornet A, Morante JR, Sarret M, Müller C (2008) Mater Chem Phys 111:542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lu J, Lu W (2010) In: Proceedings of the 4th international conference on bioinformatics and biomedical engineering (iCBBE), Chengdu, 18–20 June 2010, p 1Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Le Coz F, Arurault L, Fontorbes S, Vilar V, Datas L, Winterton P (2010) Surf Interface Anal 42:227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sinani AB, Dynkin NK, Lytvinov LA, Konevsky PV, Andreev EP (2009) Bull Russ Acad Sci Phys 73:1380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Krell A, Blank P, Ma H, Hutzler T, van Bruggen MPB, Apetz R (2003) J Am Ceram Soc 86:12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ng KY, Lin Y, Ngan AHW (2009) Acta Mater 57:2710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Alvey CE, Wood GC (1981) In: Proceedings of the 3rd South African corrosion conference, Pretoria, 17–19 March 1981Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Kylan McQuaigJr.
    • 1
  • Alejandro Toro
    • 3
  • William Van Geertruyden
    • 2
  • Wojciech Z. Misiolek
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Metal Forming, Lehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  2. 2.EMV Technologies, LLCBethlehemUSA
  3. 3.Tribology and Surfaces Group, National University of ColombiaMedellinColombia

Personalised recommendations