Effect of preparation route on the microstructure and electrical conductivity of co-doped ceria
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Dense Ce0.8Sm0.1Gd0.1O2-delta electrolytes were fabricated by sintering of CeO2 solid solutions which were prepared from metal nitrates and NaOH using self propagating room temperature synthesis (SPRT). Three different routes were employed to obtain CeO2 solid solution powders: (I) hand mixing of reactants, (II) ball milling of reactants and (III) ball milling of Ce0.8Sm0.2O2-delta and Ce0.8Gd0.2O2-delta solid solutions previously prepared by ball milling of corresponding nitrates and NaOH. Density measurements showed that ball milling, which is more convenient than hand mixing, is an effective way to obtain almost full dense samples after presureless sintering at 1550 degrees C for 1 h. These samples had larger grain size and consequently higher conductivity than the samples obtained by hand mixing. The highest conductivity of 2.704 x 10(-2) (Omega cm)(-1) was measured at 700 degrees C in a sample prepared by route II. It was found that reduced grain size in samples obtained by hand m...ixing leads to a decrease in grain boundary conductivity and therefore decrease in the total conductivity. The results showed that mixing of single doped ceria solid solutions improved densification and inhibited grain growth. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l. All rights reserved.