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Title: Enhancing grain boundary ionic conductivity in mixed ionic–electronic conductors

Mixed ionic–electronic conductors are widely used in devices for energy conversion and storage. Grain boundaries in these materials have nanoscale spatial dimensions, which can generate substantial resistance to ionic transport due to dopant segregation. Here, we report the concept of targeted phase formation in a Ce 0.8Gd 0.2O 2₋δ–CoFe 2O 4 composite that serves to enhance the grain boundary ionic conductivity. Using transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy approaches, we probe the grain boundary charge distribution and chemical environments altered by the phase reaction between the two constituents. The formation of an emergent phase successfully avoids segregation of the Gd dopant and depletion of oxygen vacancies at the Ce 0.8Gd 0.2O 2₋δ–Ce 0.8Gd 0.2O 2₋δ grain boundary. This results in superior grain boundary ionic conductivity as demonstrated by the enhanced oxygen permeation flux. Lastly, this work illustrates the control of mesoscale level transport properties in mixed ionic–electronic conductor composites through processing induced modifications of the grain boundary defect distribution.
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  1. Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  3. Clemson Univ., SC (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0001061; AC02-98CH10886; SC-0011270; DMR-1210792
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: