The Paper of Prof. John Kilner (Principal Investigator, Hydrogen Production Research Division, I²CNER / Imperial Collge London) and his collaborators was published in “Nature Materials” on November 10, 2013.
Oxide ion conductors find important technical applications in electrochemical devices such as solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), oxygen separation membranes and sensors Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3 (NBT) is a well-known lead-free piezoelectric material; however, it is often reported to possess high leakage conductivity that is problematic for its piezo- and ferroelectric applications. Here we report this high leakage to be oxide ion conduction due to Bi-deficiency and oxygen vacancies induced during materials processing. Mg-doping on the Ti-site increases the ionic conductivity to ~0.01 S cm−1 at 600 °C, improves the electrolyte stability in reducing atmospheres and lowers the sintering temperature. This study not only demonstrates how to adjust the nominal NBT composition for dielectric-based applications, but also, more importantly, gives NBT-based materials an unexpected role as a completely new family of oxide ion conductors with potential applications in intermediate-temperature SOFCs and opens up a new direction to design oxide ion conductors in perovskite oxides.
Publication Date(online): Nov. 10, 2013