CeTi2O6 - A Promising Oxide for Solar Thermochemical Hydrogen Production

S. Shahab Naghavi*, Jiangang He, C. Wolverton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A large entropy of reduction is crucial in achieving materials capable of high-efficiency solar thermochemical hydrogen (STCH) production through two-step thermochemical water splitting cycles. We have recently demonstrated that the onsite electronic entropy of reduction attains an extreme value of 4.26 kB at 1500 K in Ce4+ → Ce3+ redox reactions, which explains the high performance and uniqueness of CeO2 as an archetypal STCH material. However, ceria requires high temperatures (T > 1500 °C) to achieve a reasonable reduction extent because of its large reduction enthalpy, which is a major obstacle in practical applications. Therefore, new materials with a large entropy of reduction and lower reduction enthalpy are required. Here, we perform a systematic screening to search for Ce4+-based oxides which possess thermodynamics superior to CeO2 for STCH production. We first search the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD) and literature for Ce4+-based oxides and subsequently use density functional theory to compute their reduction enthalpies (i.e., oxygen vacancy formation energies). We find that CeTi2O6 with the brannerite structure is the most promising candidate for STCH because it possesses three essential characteristics of an STCH material: (i) a smaller reduction enthalpy compared to ceria yet large enough to split water, (ii) a high thermal stability, as reported experimentally, and (iii) a large entropy of reduction associated with Ce4+ → Ce3+ redox. Our proposed design strategy suggests that further exploration of Ce4+ oxides for STCH production is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21521-21527
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 13 2020


  • Ce oxide screening
  • brannerite structure
  • density functional theory
  • solar energy storage
  • solar thermochemical water splitting
  • thermochemical redox cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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