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Yoshihiro Yamazaki Last modified date:2020.10.07

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Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Materials Science
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
Yoshihiro Yamazaki's researches in Advanced Functional Inorganic Materials Research Division focus on the multiple length scale ion, electron and electronic-hole transport characterization in metal oxides aiming for efficient solar-fuel and energy conversions. One of ultimate challenges in materials science is to activate a useful materials fuction for a specific application. In particular, the production of efficient solar fuel in conjunction with inorganic materials makes use of unlimited solar energy even at night. A challenge is to unravel critical material and architectural paramters, in a wide range from sub-nanometer to macroscopic scale, that activate such energy functions.
We combine materials synthesis, electrochemical spectroscopy, mass-spectroscopy, thermogravimetry and in-situ high-temperature solid-state NMR, and correlate them to energy functions in inorganic materials. The research topics include novel catalytic oxides for solar-driven thermochemical fuel production and proton transport in proton-conducting oxide.
Research Interests
  • Our work focuses on the electrochemical characterization of transport in oxides, with the twin objectives of understanding the ionic-electronic defect behaviors and of transforming that understanding into materials development for energy applications. We would like to understand the structure-property relationships, how inorganic materials electrochemically functions, in multiple length scale from sub-nanometer to millimeter, aiming for the drastic enhancement of solar-fuel and energy conversion efficiency and kinetics. Our ultimate goal is, based on materials electrochemistry, to activate any energy functions in oxides.
    keyword : advanced functional inorganic materials, metal oxide, point defect, solar-driven thermochemical water splitting catalyst, proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cell electrolyte
Academic Activities
1. Shunta Nishioka, Junji Hyodo, Junie Jhon M. Vequizo, Shunsuke Yamashita, Hiromu Kumagai, Koji Kimoto, Akira Yamakata, Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Kazuhiko Maeda, Homogeneous Electron Doping into Nonstoichiometric Strontium Titanate Improves Its Photocatalytic Activity for Hydrogen and Oxygen Evolution, ACS Catalysis, 10.1021/acscatal.8b01379, 8, 8, 7190-7200, 2018.08, Water splitting using a semiconductor photocatalyst has been extensively studied as a means of solar-to-hydrogen energy conversion. Powder-based semiconductor photocatalysts, in particular, have tremendous potential in cost mitigation due to system simplicity and scalability. The control and implementation of powder-based photocatalysts are, in reality, quite complex. The identification of the semiconductor-photocatalytic activity relationship and its limiting factor has not been fully solved in any powder-based semiconductor photocatalyst. In this work, we present systematic and quantitative evaluation of photocatalytic hydrogen and oxygen evolution using a model strontium titanate powder/aqueous solution interface in a half reaction. The electron density was controlled from 1016 to 1020 cm-3 throughout the strontium titanate powder by charge compensation with oxygen nonstoichiometry (the amount of oxygen vacancy) while maintaining its crystallinity, chemical composition, powder morphology, and the crystal and electronic structure of the surface. The photocatalytic activity of hydrogen evolution from aqueous methanol solution was stable and enhanced by 40-fold by the electron doping. The enhancement was correlated well with increased Δabsorbance, an indication of prolonged lifetime of photoexcited electrons, observed by transient absorption spectroscopy. Photocatalytic activity of oxygen evolution from aqueous silver nitrate solution was also enhanced by 3-fold by the electron doping. Linear correlation was found between the photocatalytic activity and the degree of surface band bending, ΔΦ, above 1.38 V. The band bending, potential downhill for electronic holes, enlarges the total flux of photoexcited holes toward the surface, which drives the oxygen evolution reaction..
2. Chih Kai Yang, Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Aykut Aydin, Sossina M. Haile, Thermodynamic and kinetic assessments of strontium-doped lanthanum manganite perovskites for two-step thermochemical water splitting, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 10.1039/c4ta02694b, 2, 33, 13612-13623, 2014.09, Solar-driven thermochemical water splitting using non-stoichiometric oxides has emerged as an attractive technology for solar fuel production. The most widely considered oxide for this purpose is ceria, but the extreme temperatures required to achieve suitable levels of reduction introduce challenges in reactor design and operation, leading to efficiency penalties. Here, we provide a quantitative assessment of the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of La 1-xSrxMnO3-δ perovskites, targeted for a reduced temperature operation of thermochemical water splitting. Sr-doping into lanthanum manganite increases the thermodynamic fuel production capacity, which reaches 9 ml g-1 for 0.4 Sr for a thermochemical cycle operated between 1400 and 800 °C. The hydrogen yields are moreover in good agreement with expected values based on analysis and extrapolation of thermogravimetric data available in the literature. High levels of Sr doping, however, result in low steam-to-hydrogen conversion rates, implying high energy penalties in an operational reactor. Furthermore, the rate of fuel production decreases with increasing Sr content, suggesting that intermediate compositions may yield the most suitable combination of properties. This journal is.
3. Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Frédéric Blanc, Yuji Okuyama, Lucienne Buannic, Juan C. Lucio-Vega, Clare P. Grey, Sossina M. Haile, Proton trapping in yttrium-doped barium zirconate, Nature Materials, 10.1038/nmat3638, 12, 7, 647-651, 2013.07, The environmental benefits of fuel cells have been increasingly appreciated in recent years. Among candidate electrolytes for solid-oxide fuel cells, yttrium-doped barium zirconate has garnered attention because of its high proton conductivity, particularly in the intermediate-temperature region targeted for cost-effective solid-oxide fuel cell operation, and its excellent chemical stability. However, fundamental questions surrounding the defect chemistry and macroscopic proton transport mechanism of this material remain, especially in regard to the possible role of proton trapping. Here we show, through a combined thermogravimetric and a.c. impedance study, that macroscopic proton transport in yttrium-doped barium zirconate is limited by proton-dopant association (proton trapping). Protons must overcome the association energy, 29 kJ mol -1, as well as the general activation energy, 16 kJ mol -1, to achieve long-range transport. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance studies show the presence of two types of proton environment above room temperature, reflecting differences in proton-dopant configurations. This insight motivates efforts to identify suitable alternative dopants with reduced association energies as a route to higher conductivities..
4. Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Raul Hernandez-Sanchez, Sossina M. Haile, Cation non-stoichiometry in yttrium-doped barium zirconate: phase behavior, microstructure and proton conductivity, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 20, 8158-8166, 2010.08.
5. Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Raul Hernandez-Sanchez, Sossina M. Haile, High total proton conductivity in large-grained yttrium-doped barium zirconate, Chemistry of Materials, 10.1021/cm900208w, 21, 13, 2755-2762, 2009.07, Barium zirconate has attracted particular attention among candidate proton conducting electrolyte materials for fuel cells and other electrochemical applications because of its chemical stability, mechanical robustness, and high bulk proton conductivity. Development of electrochemical devices based on this material, however, has been hampered by the high resistance of grain boundaries, and, due to limited grain growth during sintering, the high number density of such boundaries. Here, we demonstrate a fabrication protocol based on the sol - gel synthesis of nanocrystalline precursor materials and reactive sintering that results in large-grained, polycrystalline BaZr 0.8Y 0.2C 3-δ of total high conductivity, ∼ 1 × 10 -2 Scm -1 at 450 °C. The detrimental role of grain boundaries in these materials is confirmed via a comparison of the conductivities of polycrystalline samples with different grain sizes. Specifically, two samples with grain sizes differing by a factor of 2.3 display essentially identical grain interior conductivities, whereas the total grain boundary conductivities differ by a factor of 2.5-3.2, depending on the temperature (with the larger-grained material displaying higher conductivity)..
6. Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Peter Babilo, Sossina M. Haile, Defect chemistry of yttrium-doped barium zirconate
A thermodynamic analysis of water uptake, Chemistry of Materials, 10.1021/cm800843s, 20, 20, 6352-6357, 2008.10, Thermogravimetry has been used to evaluate the equilibrium constants of the water incorporation reaction in yttrium-doped BaZrO3 with 20-40% yttrium in the temperature range 50-1000°C under a water partial pressure of 0.023 atm. The constants, calculated under the assumption of a negligible hole concentration, were found to be linear in the Arrhenius representation only at low temperatures (≤500 °C). Nonlinearity at high temperatures is attributed to the occurrence of electronic defects. The hydration enthalpies determined here range from -22 to -26 kJ mol-1 and are substantially smaller in magnitude than those reported previously. The difference is a direct result of the different temperature ranges employed, where previous studies have utilized higher temperature thermogravimetric measurements, despite the inapplicability of the assumption of a negligible hole concentration. The hydration entropies measured in this work, around -40 J K-1 mol -1, are similarly smaller in magnitude than those previously reported and are considerably smaller than what would be expected from the complete loss of entropy of vapor-phase H2O upon dissolution. This result suggests that substantial entropy is introduced into the oxide as a consequence of the hydration. The hydration reaction constants are largely independent of yttrium concentration, in agreement with earlier reports..
1. Y.Yamazaki, Proton trapping in proton-conducting oxide, 17th International Conference on Solid State Protonic Conductors, 2014.09.
2. Y.Yamazaki, Proton diffusion in solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes, International Conference on Diffusion in Materials, 2014.08.
3. Y.Yamazaki, F. Blanc, Y. Okuyama, L. Buannic, C.P. Grey, S.M. Haile, Proton trapping: a guide for proton conducting oxide electrolyte development, International Workshop on Protonic Ceramic Fuel Cells Status & Prospects (PPCC2013 – Prospects Protonic Ceramic Cells), 2013.07.
4. Y.Yamazaki, Novel perovskite catalysts for thermochemical water splitting, The 19th International Conference on Solid State Ionics, 2013.06.