The synthesis of titanium pyrophosphate is carried out, and the material is sintered at different temperatures between 370 and 970 °C. Yttrium is added during the synthesis to act as acceptor dopant, but it is mainly present in the material in secondary phases. The conductivity is studied systematically as a function of sintering temperature, pH2O, pO2, and temperature (100–400 °C). Loss of phosphorus upon sintering above 580–600 °C is confirmed by energy dispersive spectroscopy and combined thermogravimetry and mass spectrometry. The conductivity decreases with increasing sintering temperature and decreasing phosphorus content. The highest conductivity is 5.3 × 10−4 S cm−1 at 140 °C in wet air (pH2O = 0.22 atm) after sintering at 370 °C. The conductivity is higher in wet atmospheres than in dry atmospheres. The proton conduction mechanism is discussed, and the conductivity is attributed to an amorphous secondary phase at the grain boundaries, associated with the presence of excess phosphorus in the samples. A contribution to the conductivity by point defects in the bulk may explain the conductivity trend in dry air and the difference in conductivity between oxidizing and reducing atmospheres at 300–390 °C. Slow loss of phosphorus by evaporation over time and changes in the distribution of the amorphous phase during testing are suggested as causes of conductivity degradation above 220 °C.
Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry, 2014, Vol 18, Issue 1, p. 39-47