Sol-gel processing of ionic conductors

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The sol-gel process, in general, refers to the chemical synthesis of oxides starting with hydrolyzable metal alkoxides. For alkali ion conducting silicates, suitable precursors are mixed in alcohol solutions. Typically the compositions include silica, zirconia, phosphoric acid and boric acid along with alkali salts. Hydrolysis and polymerization lead to a sol-gel transition, when an oxide skeleton condenses in the presence of solvent. The gel may be deposited as a thin film, drawn into a fiber or cast as a bulk shape. After the solvent is removed, the microporous xerogel is the material of interest in terms of ionic/protonic conductivity. Since the porosity is open and interconnected, the gel can be infiltrated with alkali salts. The microporosity can be removed by sintering, at which time the gel transforms to dense glass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-645
Number of pages7
JournalSolid State Ionics
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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