(April 10, 2015) Scientists from South Carolina's leading public universities—the University of South Carolina and Clemson University—have made a discovery that could dramatically improve the efficiency of batteries and fuel cells.
The research, which is published in the journal Nature Communications, involves improving the transport of oxygen ions, a key component in converting chemical reactions into electricity. The team studied a well-known material, gadolinium doped ceria (GDC), which transports oxygen ions and is currently in use as a solid oxide fuel cell electrolyte. Through the use of additives and a "smart" chemical reaction, they demonstrated a greatly enhanced conductivity in GDC. The result is a faster and more efficient conversion into electricity.