Characterization of 3D interconnected microstructural network in mixed ionic and electronic conducting ceramic composites†
The microstructure and connectivity of the ionic and electronic conductive phases in composite ceramic membranes are directly related to device performance. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) including chemical mapping combined with X-ray nanotomography (XNT) have been used to characterize the composition and 3-D microstructure of a MIEC composite model system consisting of a Ce0.8Gd0.2O2 (GDC) oxygen ion conductive phase and a CoFe2O4 (CFO) electronic conductive phase. The microstructural data is discussed, including the composition and distribution of an emergent phase which takes the form of isolated and distinct regions. Performance implications are considered with regards to the design of new material systems which evolve under non-equilibrium operating conditions.