Synthesis and Enhanced Proton Conduction in a 20 mol% Ytterbium Doped Barium Zirconate Ceramic Using Zn as Sintering Aid
20% Ytterbium (III)-doped perovskite structured barium zirconate, BaZrO3, was prepared by two different synthesis routes: solid state and sol-gel routes. 2 % Zinc (II) was added as an acceptor dopant at the Zr (IV) site according to stoichiometry. It was also added as 2 % excess of the formula. The purpose of this study is to see how zinc (II) acts as a sintering aid in view of synthesis route, densification and conductivity of the material. A dense ceramic (90% of theoretical density) was achieved by the sol-gel method when stoichiometry was adjusted. Phase purity of the samples was checked by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD). Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Impedance spectroscopy (IS) was used to characterize hydration and electrical conductivity respectively.The data shows that the addition of stoichiometric amounts of Zn2+ via sol-gel synthesis route promotes not only densification but also water incorporation and conductivity in comparison with the solid state route, keeping the same final sintering temperature of 1500°C. For example, pre-hydrated BaZr0.78Zn0.02Yb0.2O3-δ, prepared via the sol-gel method shows total conductivity (σtot) value of 3.14*10-5 and 3.8*10-3 Scm-1, whereas for the solid state route, σtot values are 1.74*10-5 and 8.87*10-4 Scm-1 under dry Ar (heating cycle) at 300° C and 600° C, respectively.
S. M.H. Rahman et al., "Synthesis and Enhanced Proton Conduction in a 20 mol% Ytterbium Doped Barium Zirconate Ceramic Using Zn as Sintering Aid", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 110-116, pp. 1181-1186, 2012