"Hydroxylation and Cation Segregation in (La0.5Sr0.5)FeO3−δ Electrodes"

Dawei Zhang: Michael L. Machala, Di Chen, Zixuan Guan, Hanshi Li, Slavomir Nemsak, Ethan J. Crumlin, Hendrik Bluhm, William C. Chueh; Chemistry of Materials, 04/14/20.

Additional Authors: Michael L. Machala, Di Chen, Zixuan Guan, Hanshi Li, Slavomir Nemsak, Ethan J. Crumlin, Hendrik Bluhm, William C. Chueh

Abstract:

Simultaneously achieving high activity and stability is the primary challenge when engineering (electro)catalysts. Transition metal perovskite oxides are employed as air electrodes for solid-oxide fuel cells and oxygen exchange kinetics at the solid–gas interface, often linked to alkaline-earth cation segregation and precipitation, limits widespread commercialization. In this work, we systematically investigated the surface degradation mechanism induced by gas-phase impurities in (La0.5Sr0.5)FeO3−δ(LSF55) thin-film electrodes by varying the concentration of H2O, SO2, and CO2. Degradation of the area-specific resistance in ambient and humidified synthetic air is significantly greater than in dry ambient  and dry synthetic air, pointing to the importance of water vapor. Time-resolved, in situ ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy performed in O2 showed that nonbulk Sr is present on vapor. Upon introduction of water vapor, neither additional Sr segregation nor precipitation driven by water vapor is a necessary condition for degradation. Rather, hydroxylation of the surface induces irreversible and significant degradation. At the same time, we show that Sr migration driven by water vapor is partially reversible. These fundamental insights can be used for the rational design of electrodes with improved catalytic stability.

 

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