Synthetic K+ chabazite (KCHA), Cs+ chabazite (CsCHA) and Zn2+ chabazite (ZnCHA) have been synthesized and investigated in order to relate the differences in their crystalline structures to their thermal stability, moisture content and frequency dependent alternating current (AC) conductivity, permittivity and phase angle at a range of temperatures. The materials are shown to exhibit the universal dielectric response, which is typical of materials consisting of both conductive and insulating regions. Due to the presence of porosity, the three chabazites were hydrated significantly at room temperature and so the dehydrated state was achieved by heating the chabazites to high temperatures to ensure that all different energetic types of water were removed. Cation migration activation energies for KCHA (0.66 ± 0.10) eV, CsCHA (0.88 ± 0.01) eV and ZnCHA (0.90 ± 0.01) eV were determined during the cooling cycle from the fully dehydrated state to provide an accurate measurement of the activation energies. Good thermal stability of the materials was observed up to 710 °C and below 200 °C the electrical properties can be strongly influenced by hydration level. Overall, it was determined that when either hydrated or dehydrated, KCHA had the highest conductivity and lowest cation migration activation energy of the three studied chabazites and thus has the most promising electrical properties for potential use as a gas sensing material in next-generation electrical-based gas sensors.
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