Promoted electrocatalytic activity and ionic transport simultaneously in dual functional Ba0.5Sr0.5Fe0.8Sb0.2O3-δ-Sm0.2Ce0.8O2-δ heterostructure

Naveed Mushtaq, Yuzheng Lu, Chen Xia, Wenjing Dong, Baoyuan Wang, M. A.K.Yousaf Shah, Sajid Rauf, Muhammad Akbar, Enyi Hu, Rizwan Raza, Muhammad Imran Asghar, Peter D. Lund, Bin Zhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Structural doping is often used to prepare materials with high oxygen-ion conductivity and electrocatalytic function, but its wider application in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is still a major challenge. Here, a novel approach to developing materials with fast ionic conduction and high electrocatalytic activity is reported. A semiconductor-ionic heterostructure of perovskite Ba0.5Sr0.5Fe0.8Sb0.2O3-δ (BSFSb) and fluorite structure Sm0.2Ce0.8O2-δ (SDC) is developed. The BSFSb-SDC heterostructure exhibits a high ionic conductivity >0.1 S cm−1 (vs 0.01 S cm−1 of SDC) and achieves a remarkable fuel cell performance (>1000 mWcm−2) at 550 °C. It was found that the BSFSb-SDC has both electrolyte and electrode (cathode) functions with enhanced ionic transport and electrocatalytic activity simultaneously. When using BSFSb-SDC as an electrolyte, the interface energy-band reconstruction and charge transfer at particle level forming a built-in electric field (BIEF) and it make electronic confinement. The BIEF originates from the potential gradient due to differences in the electron density of BSFSb and SDC particles/grains facilitates ionic conduction at the interface of the BSFSb and SDC particles. This work provides a new insight in designing functional materials with high ionic conductivity and electrocatalytic function, which can be used both for energy conversion and storage device.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120503
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • BaSrFeSbOδ-SmCeO-δ (BSFSb-SDC)
  • Built-in-electric field (BIEF)
  • Charge and mass transport
  • Heterostructure
  • Ionic transport
  • Semiconductor-ionic


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