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Fundamentals of Ionic Transport

Principal Investigator(s): 


Advances in the understanding of ionic transport phenomena drive the development of many of our lab's technologies. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC's), solid state sensors, and ion transport membranes are all, in essence, ionic transport harnessed for a specific technological purpose. Whether the objective is to separate gasses, produce electricity, or purify water, ionic transport rests at the heart.

Our lab focuses on high temperature ionic transport through ceramic materials. We published insights that show the importance of the topological connectivity of the triple phase boundary (TPB) in ion conductivity, which led directly to increased SOFC performance. Similarly, our development of SNDC electrolyte with a 30% higher grain ionic conductivity than gadolinium doped cerium (GDC) led directly to a low ohmic resistance SOFC at 500ºC, an unprecedented performance at that temperature.