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Title: Final Report for Award DE-SC0005403. Improved Electrochemical Performance of Strained Lattice Electrolytes via Modulated Doping

The enclosed document provides a final report to document the research performed at the University of Delaware under Grant DE-SC0005403: Improved Electrochemical Performance of Strained Lattice Electrolytes via Modulated Doping. The ultimate goal of this project was to learn how to systematically strain the inter-atomic distance in thin ceramic films and how to use this newfound control to improve the ease by which oxygen ions can conduct through the films. Increasing the ionic conductivity of ceramics holds the promise of drastic improvements in the performance of solid oxide fuel cells, chemical sensors, gas permeation membranes, and related devices. Before this work, the experimental evidence advocating for strain-based techniques was often controversial and poorly characterized. Enabling much of this work was a new method to quickly create a very wide range of ceramic nanostructures that was established during the first phase of the project. Following this initial phase, we created a variety of promising nanostructured epitaxial films and multilayers with systematic variations in lattice mismatch and dopant content. Over the course of the work, a positive effect of tensile atomic strain on the oxygen conductivity was conclusively found using a few different forms of samples and experimental techniques. The samples weremore » built by sputtering, an industrially scalable technique, and thus the technological implementation of these results may be economically feasible. Still, two other results consistently achieved over multiple efforts in this work give pause. The first of these results was that very specific, pristine surfaces upon which to build the nanostructures were strictly required in order to achieve measurable results. The second of these results was that compressively strained films with concomitant reductions in oxygen conductivity are much easier to obtain relative to tensile-strained films with increased conductivity.« less
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  1. Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC); electrolyte; strain; ionic conductivity; thin film