Tailoring the ions and bandgaps in a novel semi-ionic energy conversion device for electrochemical performance

M. Zahra, Rizwan Raza*, A. Ali, N. Mushtaq, M.A. Ahmad, I. Shakir, Q. Abbas, M. Akbar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


The new semi-ionic energy conversion (SIEC) device has attracted remarkable attention owing to its clean and environmentally friendly applications. In this device, novel materials and mechanisms have been explored using electronic and ionic conductor materials. The tuning effect of the ions and bandgap has been studied to investigate the structural, optical, and electrochemical performance of the material. Composite materials, gadolinium-doped ceria-cadmium-doped ZnO (GDC-ZnCdO), based on ionic gadolinium-doped ceria (GDC) and semiconductor (ZnCdO) in molar ratios of 1:4, 2:3, 3:2, and 4:1 have been prepared by a wet chemical route. The crystalline structure of the GDC-ZnCdO was studied and found to have cubic and hexagonal wurtzite phases with an average crystallite size of 30–40 nm. The morphology of the prepared composite materials is a homogenous and porous structure. It was found that the addition of GDC increases the transmittance and shows a red shift in the bandgap from 2.70 eV to 2.46 eV. The maximum conductivity of 2.0 S/cm1 was achieved for the sample 4GDC-1ZnCdO at 700°C. Electrochemical impedance spectra and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis were performed to investigate the electrochemical properties of the prepared semi-ionic composite materials. The SIEC device showed a much better performance than a conventional solid oxide fuel cell. The maximum open-circuit voltage (OCV) of about 1.013 Vand power density of 0.65 W/cm2 were obtained using hydrogen fuel at 600°C, as compared with a conventional fuel cell with 0.72 V and 0.27 W/cm2, respectively. Hence, the results reveal that the ions and bandgap tuning play a crucial role in fuel cell functions. Therefore, it has been determined that the bandgap can be tuned to obtain a better and more stable performance of the SIEC device. This study presents a novel approach to enhance the electrochemical performance with the tailoring of the new semi-ionic materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100536
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Today Energy
Early online date24 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


  • composite materials
  • electrical bandgap
  • optical bandgap
  • semi-ionic energy conversion device
  • x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis


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