Atomistic simulation techniques are used to examine the defect chemistry of perovskite-structured NdCoO3, a material whose electrochemical properties make it attractive for use in heterogeneous oxidation catalysis, as well as in gas sensors and mixed ionic/electronic conductors. In practice, dopants are added to NdCoO3 to obtain the desired properties, such as high electrical conductivity and rapid gas adsorption/desorption; thus, a wide range of dopants substituted on both Nd and Co sites are examined. Charge compensation for aliovalent dopants is predicted to occur via formation of oxide ion vacancies; these are understood to be key sites with respect to catalytic and sensor activity. Low activation energies calculated for oxide ion migration are consistent with high oxygen mobilities measured experimentally. Sr and Ca, which occupy Nd sites in the lattice, are found to be the most soluble of the alkaline earth metals, in agreement with experiment. These two dopant ions also have the weakest binding energies for dopant-vacancy cluster formation. Mechanisms of electronic defect formation, critical to the overall transport properties of the material, are also considered. The results suggest that disproportionation of the Co ion to form small polaron species is the most favorable intrinsic defect process. In doped compounds, formation of electronic holes via uptake of oxygen at vacant sites is found to be a low energy process.
Tealdi, C., Malavasi, L., Fisher, C. A. J., & Islam, M. S. (2006). Disproportionation, dopant incorporation, and defect clustering in perovskite-structured NdCoO3. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 110(11), 5395-5402. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp0571352