Proton conduction in nanocrystalline oxides

M. Shirpour, R. Merkle, G. Gregori

In the last years, a number of studies have reported unexpected proton conduction in nanocrystalline doped zirconia, ceria as well as titania at low temperatures (T < 200 °C). The purpose of our investigations has been aimed at identifying, whether the preferential proton transport occurs along the grain boundaries or rather at the adsorbed water/solid interface. The experimental results suggest proton conduction to occur at the water/oxide interface and not at the grain boundaries.

Arrhenius plots of the conductivity of (a) nanocrystalline undoped-CeO2 and (b) nanocrystalline Gd-doped CeO2 under dry and wet atmospheres (pO2 = 1 bar, pH2O = 20 mbar) Reproduced with permission of the PCCP Owner Societies.


M. Shirpour, G. Gregori, R. Merkle, and J. Maier, “On the proton conductivity in pure and gadolinium doped nanocrystalline cerium oxide”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 13 [3], 937-940 (2011). DOI: 10.1039/c0cp01702g

G. Gregori, M. Shirpour, and J. Maier, “Proton conduction in dense and porous nanocrystalline ceria thin films”, Adv. Funct. Mater. (2013). DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201300527 – in press; available online.

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