Designing High Interfacial Conduction beyond Bulk via Engineering the Semiconductor-Ionic Heterostructure CeO2-δ/BaZr0.8Y0.2O3for Superior Proton Conductive Fuel Cell and Water Electrolysis Applications

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2022-12-26
Department
Department of Applied Physics
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
12
15373-15384
Series
ACS Applied Energy Materials, Volume 5, issue 12
Abstract
Proton ceramic fuel cells (PCFCs) are an emerging clean energy technology; however, a key challenge persists in improving the electrolyte proton conductivity, e.g., around 10-3-10-2S cm-1at 600 °C for the well-known BaZr0.8Y0.2O3(BZY), that is far below the required 0.1 S cm-1. Herein, we report an approach for tuning BZY from low bulk to high interfacial conduction by introducing a semiconductor CeO2-δforming a semiconductor-ionic heterostructure CeO2-δ/BZY. The interfacial conduction was identified by a significantly higher conductivity obtained from the BZY grain boundary than that of the bulk and a further improvement from the CeO2-δ/BZY which achieved a remarkably high proton conductivity of 0.23 S cm-1. This enabled a high peak power of 845 mW cm-2at 520 °C from a PCFC using the CeO2-δ/BZY as the electrolyte, in strong contrast to the BZY bulk conduction electrolyte with only 229 mW cm-2. Furthermore, the CeO2-δ/BZY fuel cell was operated under water electrolysis mode, exhibiting a very high current density output of 3.2 A cm-2corresponding to a high H2production rate, under 2.0 V at 520 °C. The band structure and a built-in-field-assisted proton transport mechanism have been proposed and explained. This work demonstrates an efficient way of tuning the electrolyte from low bulk to high interfacial proton conduction to attain sufficient conductivity required for PCFCs, electrolyzers, and other advanced electrochemical energy technologies.
Description
Funding Information: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 51772080 and 51774259); Southeast University Basic Research Project (SEU PROJET # 3203002003A1); the Fundamental Research Funds for National Universities, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan); Jiangsu Provincial program Project (No. JSSCRC2021491); the UK EPSRC (EP/W03784X/1); and the Royal Society and the Newton Fund through the Newton Advanced Fellowship award (NAF\R1\191294). Dr. Asghar thanks the Hubei Talent 100 program and Academy of Finland (grant no. 13329016 and 13322738) for their support. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords
ceramic proton-conducting electrolyte, interface engineering, proton ceramic fuel cells, semiconductor-ionic heterostructure, solid oxide water electrolysis cell
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Citation
Xing, Y, Zhu, B, Hong, L, Xia, C, Wang, B, Wu, Y, Cai, H, Rauf, S, Huang, J, Asghar, M I, Yang, Y & Lin, W F 2022, ' Designing High Interfacial Conduction beyond Bulk via Engineering the Semiconductor-Ionic Heterostructure CeO 2-δ /BaZr 0.8 Y 0.2 O 3 for Superior Proton Conductive Fuel Cell and Water Electrolysis Applications ', ACS Applied Energy Materials, vol. 5, no. 12, pp. 15373-15384 . https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaem.2c02995