Energy Devices and Ionic Conductors

Techniques:  I-V, C-V, impedance, capacitance, permittivity, dielectric constant/loss, grain size, AC conductivity
Applications:    SOFC, batteries, sensors, oxygen sensors, solid electrolytes
Types: thin film, YSZ Yittria Stabilized Zirconia, beta-Alumina, Perovskite Ceramics

Ionic conductors are used in a wide range of energy devices including solid state batteries, supercapacitors and solid oxide fuel cells, as well as many types of sensors. Thin film materials are used (for example YSZ yttria stabilized zirconia) to provide ionic conduction while blocking electrical conduction that would otherwise short-circuit the device. Temperature is an important consideration for these materials as ionic conductivity increases with temperature (as opposed to electrical conductivity that reduces as temperature increases). Test systems therefore need to encompass a wide range of electrical and temperature test capabilities.

Solartron Analytical’s range of materials test equipment is ideally suited for the characterization of fast ionic conductors/solid electrolytes. Key elements of testing are frequency range, range of electrical stimulus, range of impedance/permittivity/capacitance that can be measured, accuracy of measurements (especially at extreme impedance levels), control of applied temperature, and use of appropriate sample holders.

Solartron Analytical provides a wide range of electrical test systems for the characterization of ionic conductor materials:
  • The ModuLab XM MTS Test System provides complete time domain and AC device characterization using a wide range of “Plug and Play” options:
  • The Model 1260A Impedance Gain Phase Analyzer is widely referenced in publications and is able to test capacitance / C-V / impedance / Mott-Schottky from 10 µHz to 32 MHz (over 12 decades of frequency), enabling full characterization of these dielectric materials.
  • The Model 1296A Dielectric Interface System extends the impedance range of the 1260A to over 100 T for testing insulators and dielectrics in addition to providing greater magnitude and phase accuracy by use of sample/reference techniques, reducing errors due to cables.
  • Temperature control options including Cryostats and Furnaces are available with all of the above measurement systems that provide automatic PC control of the sample temperature and allow complete material characterization