Ionic Conductors and Protonics
Book chapter, 2017
Understanding ion conduction mechanisms on the atomic scale remains a fundamental problem in many areas of science, from biological and chemical systems to many materials of high interest to science and society. In particular, the local structure and chemistry complicate the description about ionic conduction, which is still not fully understood for any system or material. The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate the important role that neutron scattering now plays in advancing the state of the art of the basic understanding of ion conduction mechanisms in ion conducting solids, with a focus on proton and oxide-ion conducting oxides, as well as to demonstrate the importance of computer modeling as a complementary tool. Key fundamental properties that are addressed include crystal structure, proton and oxide-ion sites, proton concentration depth profiles in thin films, vibrational dynamics, localized and long-range diffusion of atoms, and macroscopic conductivity. Furthermore, the prospects for future neutron studies within this field of research are discussed.