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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P026478/1
Title: Solid Oxide Interfaces for Faster Ion Transport (SOIFIT)
Principal Investigator: Skinner, Professor SJ
Other Investigators:
Aguadero, Dr A Kilner, Professor JA Payne, Professor D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 03 July 2017 Ends: 02 July 2023 Value (£): 1,001,181
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Solid state electrochemical devices are set to revolutionise clean energy conversion and storage and provide a pathway to minimise carbon emissions whilst sustaining global energy requirements. Devices such as the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) and the Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell (SOEC) and all solid state lithium and sodium batteries will play an increasingly important role in the energy economies of Japan, Europe and the USA, for domestic industrial and transport applications. Example devices are all solid state Li batteries for electric vehicles, and SOFC stacks for domestic CHP applications. Such devices based on solid oxide electrolytes rely upon the rapid transport of charged atoms (ions) across either the solid/gas and/or solid/solid interfaces. In addition to the optimisation of such interfaces for fast ion transport, they also play an important role in the degradation of devices under operating conditions. Examples of these degradation processes are the drop in performance of SOFC electrodes caused by surface decomposition of the active oxides, the formation of short circuit Li metal dendrites in Li batteries, and the delamination of electrodes in SOEC. The focus of this proposal will be to provide a full and fundamental study of both types of interface by state-of-the-art characterisation techniques, combined with cutting edge theoretical simulations, to investigate the detailed atomic structure electronic structure chemical composition and mass and charge transport. This is a very challenging task as the materials used in practical devices are complex multi-component oxides. Examples include the double perovskite oxides, such as GdBaCo2O5+d used as a SOFC cathode and an SOEC anode, and the garnet La3Zr2Li7O12 used as an electrolyte in Li batteries. In addition the investigation of these interfaces after exposure to simulated operating conditions, or real operation in devices, will enhance the lifetime of devices and lead to more viable commercial products. A consortium of universities and research institutes will form the core of this collaboration. The lead partners are the Department of Materials at Imperial College London and the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) Kyushu University. Outside the lead UK-Japanese team will be the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI/ETH) Zurich and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This consortium will ensure that the researchers in the collaborating countries have access to the latest high performance equipment and theoretical tools. It will also allow young researchers from all the participants to travel between the partners, and meet senior scientists involved in this important research topic. It is hoped that the formation of this consortium will form a "critical mass" of effort to solve what have, up to now, been intractable problems.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk