Physically driven enhancement of the stability of Bi2O3-based ionic conductors via grain boundary engineering

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Fast oxygen-ion conductors for use as electrolyte materials have been sought for energy conversion and storage. Bi2O3-based ionic conductors that exhibit the highest known oxygen-ion conductivities have received attention for use in next-generation solid electrolytes. However, at intermediate temperatures below -600 degrees C, their conductivities degrade rapidly owing to a cubic-to-rhombohedral phase transformation. Here, we demonstrate that physical manipulation of the grain structure can be used to preserve the superior ionic conductivity of Bi2O3. To investigate the effects of microstructural control on stability, epitaxial and nanopolycrystalline model films of Er0.25Bi0.75O1.5 were fabricated by pulsed laser deposition. Interestingly, in situ impedance and ex situ XRD analyses showed that the grain boundary-free epitaxial film significantly improved the stability of the cubic phase, while severe degradation was observed in the conductivity of its polycrystalline counterpart. Consistently, the cation interdiffusion coefficient measured by the Boltzmann-Matano method was much lower for the epitaxial thin film compared to the polycrystalline thin film. Furthermore, first-principles calculations revealed that the presence of grain boundaries triggered the structural resemblance between cubic and rhombohedral phases, as evidenced by radial distribution functions. Additionally, phase transition energetics predicted that the thermodynamic stability of the cubic phase with respect to the rhombohedral counterpart is reduced near grain boundaries. Thus, these findings provide novel insights into the development of highly durable superionic conductors via microstructural engineering.
Publisher
NATURE PORTFOLIO
Issue Date
2022-12
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

NPG ASIA MATERIALS, v.14, no.1

ISSN
1884-4049
DOI
10.1038/s41427-022-00402-7
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/297265
Appears in Collection
MS-Journal Papers(저널논문)ME-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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