Nature Materials, Vol.20, No.3, 301-313, 2021
Triple ionic-electronic conducting oxides for next-generation electrochemical devices
Triple ionic-electronic conductors can be used in electrochemical devices, including fuel cells, membrane reactors and electrolysis cells. Current understanding in single-phase conductors including defect formation and conduction mechanisms are now discussed. Triple ionic-electronic conductors (TIECs) are materials that can simultaneously transport electronic species alongside two ionic species. The recent emergence of TIECs provides intriguing opportunities to maximize performance in a variety of electrochemical devices, including fuel cells, membrane reactors and electrolysis cells. However, the potential application of these nascent materials is limited by lack of fundamental knowledge of their transport properties and electrocatalytic activity. The goal of this Review is to summarize and analyse the current understanding of TIEC transport and electrochemistry in single-phase materials, including defect formation and conduction mechanisms. We particularly focus on the discovery criteria (for example, crystal structure and ion electronegativity), design principles (for example, cation and anion substitution chemistry) and operating conditions (for example, atmosphere) of materials that enable deliberate tuning of the conductivity of each charge carrier. Lastly, we identify important areas for further advances, including higher chemical stability, lower operating temperatures and discovery of n-type TIEC materials.