My research interests centre on the properties and structures of ion conducting oxides, with emphasis on the idenification and characterisation of new materials using in- situ high temperature techniques such as x-ray and neutron powder diffraction techniques, secondary ion mass spectrometry and low energy ion scattering. This work has potential applications in the development of solid oxide fuel cell, electrolysis and permeation membranes and more has been identified as having application in the field of novel solid state gas sensors. To complement the work carried out within the department my research group is involved in many international collaborations, both in the UK and abroad. In collaboration with the University du Maine, Le Mans, France we reported the first oxide ion diffusion coefficients for the exciting new class of oxide ion conductor, La2Mo2O9 . Further, we have strong links with groups involved in ion conducting technologies, notably Vladislav Kharton and Jorge Frade, University of Averio, Portugal, Rose-Noelle Vannier, ENSC Lille, France Mona Bahout, Universite de Rennes I. In the field of sensor materials we have had fruitful collaborations with Southside Thermal Sciences Ltd. (Phosphors), and with Professor Ivan Parkin, University College London (metal oxides). The work on phosphor based materials continues through our work with Sensor Coating Systems, Ltd. on developing new materials and understanding their luminescent behaviour.
A significant interest is in the understanding of degradation mechanisms and durability of electroceramic devices. In order to achieve this we are using a suite of in-situ techniques and developing new capability to characterise cells under operating conditions. This is a multi-institution effort including partners at University College London (D. Brett), University of St Andrews (J. Irvine and C. Savaniu) and University of Newcastle (I. Metcalfe). Details of the programme can be found at www.multiscaleinsitu.com. Further work on degradation has been funded by Praxair Inc., to develop understanding or permeation membranes, and an international project with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, is concerned with surfaces and interfaces in electrochemcial cells.