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Recently, apatite-type germanates La9.33+xGe 6O26+3x/2 have attracted considerable interest due to their high oxide ion conductivities. Research has shown that the key defects are oxide ion interstitials which lead to the conversion of some of the GeO4 units to GeO5. Consequently there has been a large interest in the preparation of high oxygen excess samples with high defect concentration. This strategy, however, leads to a reduction in symmetry from hexagonal to triclinic for x0.4, and consequently to reduced oxide ion conductivity at low temperatures. We present doping strategies to stabilise the hexagonal lattice, while maintaining high oxygen content. In particular, partial substitution of La by smaller rare earths (Y, Yb) is shown to be successful in preparing x=0.67 samples with hexagonal symmetry and hence high conductivities. In addition, doping on the Ge site with Ti, Nb or W, has been shown to be similarly successful, leading to very high oxygen contents for W doping, e.g. La10Ge5.5W 0.5O27.5. In the case of Ti doping, however, there was some evidence for trapping of the interstitial oxide ions around the Ti. Preliminary results on the effect of similar doping strategies on Pr, Nd germanates (Pr/Nd)9.33+xGe6O 26+3x/2, are also discussed.
Orera, A., Baikie, T., Panchmatia, P., White, T. J., Hanna, J., Smith, M. E., Islam, M. S., Kendrick, E., & Slater, P. R. (2011). Strategies for the optimisation of the oxide ion conductivities of apatite-type germanates. Fuel Cells, 11(1), 10-16. https://doi.org/10.1002/fuce.201000020