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Ab initio study of vacancy formation in cubic LaMnO3 and SmCoO3 as cathode materials in solid oxide fuel cells

Olsson, Emilia, Aparicio-Anglès, Xavier and De Leeuw, Nora ORCID: 2016. Ab initio study of vacancy formation in cubic LaMnO3 and SmCoO3 as cathode materials in solid oxide fuel cells. The Journal of Chemical Physics 145 (1) , 014703. 10.1063/1.4954939

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Doped LaMnO3 and SmCoO3 are important solid oxide fuel cell cathode materials. The main difference between these two perovskites is that SmCoO3 has proven to be a more efficient cathode material than LaMnO3 at lower temperatures. In order to explain the difference in efficiency, we need to gain insight into the materials’ properties at the atomic level. However, while LaMnO3 has been widely studied, ab initio studies on SmCoO3 are rare. Hence, in this paper, we perform a comparative DFT + U study of the structural, electronic, and magnetic properties of these two perovskites. To that end, we first determined a suitable Hubbard parameter for the Co d–electrons to obtain a proper description of SmCoO3 that fully agrees with the available experimental data. We next evaluated the impact of oxygen and cation vacancies on the geometry, electronic, and magnetic properties. Oxygen vacancies strongly alter the electronic and magnetic structures of SmCoO3, but barely affect LaMnO3. However, due to their high formation energy, their concentrations in the material are very low and need to be induced by doping. Studying the cation vacancy concentration showed that the formation of cation vacancies is less energetically favorable than oxygen vacancies and would thus not markedly influence the performance of the cathode.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: AIP
ISSN: 00219606
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 August 2016
Date of Acceptance: 11 June 2016
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 03:20

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