This research line is devoted mainly to the investigation of electrode and electrolyte materials for solid oxide fuel cells and for lithium ion batteries. Materials are produced by our team or in collaboration with national and international research groups.
The electrical and electrochemical characterizations, carried out using standard techniques such as impedance spectroscopy, d.c.Hebb Wagner conductivity measurement, cyclic voltammetry, potential spectroscopy, galvanostatic cycling, are performed with the aim to investigate the correlation among structural, morphological features and functional properties.
Materials for SOFC: the research activity is focused on the electrical characterization of electrolyte materials alternative to YSZ and electrode materials compatible with the new electrolyte. The results have shown the correlation between the dopant amount and the ionic conductivity; moreover the conduction properties of several possible cathode candidates have been determinate.
Solid state electrochemical as well as semiconductor gas sensors have been investigated and realized. In particular, the former, either potentiometric or amperometric, were investigated to determine the composition of CO/CO2 or H2/H2O gas mixtures and the concentration of CO or H2O or SO3 in air as well as Cl2 or O2 or CO2 in nitrogen and air.
The latter, nanostructured thin film of pure or noble metal doped semiconductors prepared via sol gel or dip coating technique, were used as sensing elements to determine low concentration of reducing gas (CO). The experimental measurements pointed out the strong correlation among the electrical properties, the point defects, the amount of doping level, and the morphology.
Squaraine molecules, tiophene and pyrrole based monomers, and poly-tiophene based polymers have been characterized respect to their electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical properties in solution or in solid state (as thin film). Their electronic properties, energy levels, and electro-optical characteristic have been correlated to the chemical structure and to the film morphology. Recently, the redox mechanism in conducting polymers was also investigated and the fundamental role of anion intercalation pointed out.