Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Materials Engineering

Committee Chair

Shriram Ramanathan

Committee Member 1

David F. Bahr

Committee Member 2

R. Edwin García

Committee Member 3

Elliott B. Slamovich


Perovskite rare earth nickelates with formula RNiO3 (R = trivalent rare earth element) feature exceptional electrical behavior and performance in a wide variety of functional applications due to their unique metal-insulator transition. This distinctive phase transition is caused by charge disproportionation as the crystal structure distorts upon temperature change and electron-electron interactions result in a modified band structure. However, electron doping of the same nickelate systems has created a more pronounced phase transition wherein unprecedented resistivity changes on the order of 1010 Ω*cm are achieved through the opening of a wide bandgap. In this work, a new method for inducing a water-mediated electrically driven phase transition is examined through the use of various processing methods and investigation of subsequent effects on the structural and material properties. Electrochemically driven doping of protons is caused through potentiostatic bias applications and linear sweep voltammetry, while the effects on the electrical and optic properties are observed and correlated with structural data collected through x-ray and neutron scattering. Finally, the effects of A-site substitution (Sm, Nd, Eu) on the doping process are assessed.