Next generation fuel cells based on semiconductor-ionic principle

Peter Lund

An international research team with Aalto University participation has developed a novel semiconductor-ionic fuel cell. The scientific base of operation is based on charge separation processes from nano-particle level to the device level.

Structure of the semiconductor-ionic fuel cell. The device is constructed by sandwiching the semiconductor-ionic material La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ (LSCF) and the ion conductor, Sm3+ and Ca2+ co-doped ceria (SCDC)LSCF-SCDC, between two thin semiconducting oxide Ni0.8Co0.15Al0.05Li –oxide (NCAL) layers.

Heterostructure oxide material interfaces show extraordinary material properties such as great enhancement in the ionic conductivity, which is useful for fuel cells. We report a semiconductor-ionic
heterostructure La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ (LSCF) and Sm-Ca co-doped ceria (SCDC) material possessing unique properties for new generation fuel cells using semiconductor-ionic heterostructure composite materials.The LSCF-SCDC system contains both ionic and electronic conductivities, above 0.1 S/cm, but used as the electrolyte for the fuel cell it has displayed promising performance in terms of OCV (above 1.0 V) and enhanced power density (ca. 1000 mW/cm2 at 550 °C). The work was done by an international researcher group with participation of Prof. Peter Lund from Aalto University and Hubei University. The results were recently published in Nanoenergy 37(2017)195-202.