Oxygen flip-flop



Scientists have developed a new material from strontium cobaltite, which can easily absorb or shed oxygen atoms at low temperatures. Materials with these novel characteristics would be useful in devices such as rechargeable batteries, sensors, gas converters, and fuel cells. Materials containing atoms that can switch back and forth between multiple oxidation states are technologically important but very rare in nature because most elements want to stay stable. Many energy storage and sensor devices rely on this valence-switching trick, known as a reduction-oxidation or redox reaction. 


Down To Earth, October 2013