Mixed conducting perovskite oxides and related structures serving as electrodes for electrochemical oxygen incorporation and evolution in solid oxide fuel and electrolysis cells, respectively, play a significant role in determining the cell efficiency and lifetime. Desired improvements in catalytic activity for rapid surface oxygen exchange, fast bulk transport (electronic and ionic), and thermo-chemo-mechanical stability of oxygen electrodes will require increased understanding of the impact of both bulk and surface chemistry on these properties. This review highlights selected work at the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2
CNER), Kyushu University, set in the context of work in the broader community, aiming to characterize and understand relationships between bulk and surface composition and oxygen electrode performance. Insights into aspects of bulk point defect chemistry, electronic structure, crystal structure, and cation choice that impact carrier concentrations and mobilities, surface exchange kinetics, and chemical expansion coefficients are emerging. At the same time, an understanding of the relationship between bulk and surface chemistry is being developed that may assist design of electrodes with more robust surface chemistries, e.g., impurity tolerance or limited surface segregation. Ion scattering techniques (e.g., secondary ion mass spectrometry, SIMS, or low energy ion scattering spectroscopy, LEIS) with high surface sensitivity and increasing lateral resolution are proving useful for measuring surface exchange kinetics, diffusivity, and corresponding outer monolayer chemistry of electrodes exposed to typical operating conditions. Beyond consideration of chemical composition, the use of strain and/or a high density of active interfaces also show promise for enhancing performance.
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