Colossal ionic conductivity at interfaces of epitaxial ZrO 2:Y2O3/SrTiO3 heterostructures

J. Garcia-Barriocanal, A. Rivera-Calzada, M. Varela, Z. Sefrioui, E. Iborra, C. Leon, S. J. Pennycook, J. Santamaria

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518 Scopus citations

Abstract

The search for electrolyte materials with high oxygen conductivities is a key step toward reducing the operation temperature of fuel cells, which is currently above 700°C. We report a high lateral ionic conductivity, showing up to eight orders of magnitude enhancement near room temperature, in yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ)/strontium titanate epitaxial heterostructures. The enhancement of the conductivity is observed, along with a YSZ layer thickness-independent conductance, showing that it is an interface process. We propose that the atomic reconstruction at the interface between highly dissimilar structures (such as fluorite and perovskite) provides both a large number of carriers and a high-mobility plane, yielding colossal values of the ionic conductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-680
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume321
Issue number5889
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008

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