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Title: Imaging space charge regions in Sm-doped ceria using electrochemical strain microscopy

Nanocrystalline ceria exhibits a total conductivity several orders of magnitude higher than microcrystalline ceria in air at high temperature. The most widely accepted theory for this enhancement (based on fitting of conductivity data to various transport and kinetic models) is that relatively immobile positively charged defects and/or impurities accumulate at the grain boundary core, leading to a counterbalancing increase in the number of mobile electrons (small polarons) within a diffuse space charge region adjacent to each grain boundary. In an effort to validate this model, we have applied electrochemical strain microscopy to image the location and relative population of mobile electrons near grain boundaries in polycrystalline Sm-doped ceria in air at 20–200 °C. Our results show the first direct (spatially resolved) evidence that such a diffuse space charge region does exist in ceria, and is localized to both grain boundaries and the gas-exposed surface.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195 (United States)
  2. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22391994
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 20; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; CRYSTAL DEFECTS; DOPED MATERIALS; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; ELECTROCHEMISTRY; ELECTRONS; GRAIN BOUNDARIES; NANOSTRUCTURES; POLARONS; POLYCRYSTALS; SAMARIUM; SPACE CHARGE; STRAINS; SURFACES