Atomistic Modelling Studies of Fluorite- and Perovskite-Based Oxide Materials

  • Stephen Stokes

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Fast oxide-ion and proton conductors are the subject of considerable research due to their technological applications in sensors, ceramic membranes and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). This thesis describes the use of computer modelling techniques to study point defects, dopants and clustering effects in fluorite-and perovskitetype ion conductors with potential SOFC applications. Bi2O3 related phases are being developed with the objective of high oxide-ion conductivities at lower operating temperatures than 1000°C, as in current generation SOFC electrolytes. Doped Bi2O3 phases have shown promise as materials capable of accomplishing this goal. First, the Y-doped phase, Bi3YO6, has been investigated including the ordering of intrinsic vacancies. The defect and dopant characteristics of Bi3YO6 have been examined and show that a highly mobile oxygen sub-lattice exists in this material. A preliminary structural modelling study of a new Re-doped Bi2O3 phase was also undertaken. A comprehensive investigation of the proton-conducting perovskites BaZrO3, BaPrO3 and BaThO3 is then presented. Our results suggest that intrinsic atomic disorder in BaZrO3 and BaThO3 is unlikely, but reduction of Pr4+ in BaPrO3 is favourable. The water incorporation energy is found to be less exothermic for BaZrO3 than for BaPrO3 and BaThO3, but in all cases the results suggest that the proton concentration would decrease with increasing temperature, in accord with experimental data. The high binding energies for all the dopant-OH pair clusters in BaPrO3 and BaThO3 suggest strong proton trapping effects. Finally, a study of multiferroic BiFeO3 is presented, in which the defect, dopant and migration properties of this highly topical phase are investigated. The reduction process involving the formation of oxygen vacancies and Fe2+ is the most favourable redox process. In addition, the results suggest that oxide-ion migration is anisotropic within this system.
Date of Award1 Jul 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMuhammed Islam (Supervisor)


  • Vacancy
  • Fuel Cell
  • Electrolyte
  • Oxide Defect
  • Perouskite
  • Computer
  • Simulation
  • Atomistic
  • Fluorite
  • Conduction
  • Modelling

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