Fast Ion Conductors

  • Alan V. Chadwick


Fast ion conductors, sometimes referred to as superionic conductors or solid electrolytes, are solids with ionic conductivities that are comparable to those found in molten salts and aqueous solutions of strong electrolytes, i.e., 10-2-10 S cm-1. Such materials have been known of for a very long time and some typical examples of the conductivity are shown in Fig. 1, along with sodium chloride as the archetypal normal ionic solid. Faraday [1] first noted the high conductivity of solid lead fluoride (PbF2) and silver sulphide (Ag2S) in the 1830s and silver iodide was known to be unusually high ionic conductor to the German physicists early in the 1900s. However, the materials were regarded as anomalous until the mid 1960s when they became the focus of intense interest to academics and technologists and they have remained at the forefront of materials research [2, 3, 4]. The academic aim is to understand the fundamental origin of fast ion behaviour and the technological goal is to utilize the properties in applications, particularly in energy applications such as the electrolyte membranes in solid-state batteries and fuel cells, and in electrochemical sensors. The last four decades has seen an expansion of the types of material that exhibit fast ion behaviour that now extends beyond simple binary ionic crystals to complex solids and even polymeric materials. Over this same period computer simulations of solids has also developed (in fact these methods and the interest in fast ion conductors were almost coincidental in their time of origin) and the techniques have played a key role in this area of research.


Monte Carlo Solid State Ionic Silver Iodide Conduction Plane Frenkel Defect 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan V. Chadwick
    • 1
  1. 1.Functional Materials Group, School of Physical SciencesUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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