The structural and dynamics neutron study of proton conductors: Difficulties and improvement procedures in protonated perovskite
Laboratoire de Dynamique, Interaction et Réactivité (LADIR), UMR 7075 CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
Revised: 27 September 2012
Published online: 3 December 2012
With the expected development of Hydrogen as energy vector, there is a great impetus on the study of thermally stable proton conductors, the core of fuel cells, electrolysers and potential CO2 converters. Prior to a successful industrial application one should first well determine their extremely complex physical and chemical behaviour related to the unique character of the proton. The difficulties in comprehension of the nature of mobile protonic species, their location (especially the differentiation between bulk and surface species) as well as local and long range dynamics are different as a function of the hydration level: i) in hydrates the number of protons not really involved in the conduction is much larger than that of protonic conducting species, ii) in non-hydrated materials, the total amount of conducting protons can be very small, as dopants in semiconductors, and similar to that arising from surface water and physisorbed protonic moieties. The attempts and difficulties to locate and identify the protonic species and their dynamics using the neutron techniques are discussed in the light of representative examples, with emphasis on proton conducting perovskites.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2012