Doped ceria has been considered for high oxygen ion conductivity for solid oxide fuel cells. In the present study, 20 mole% samarium doped nano ceria powder was prepared by wet chemical synthesis and sintered at different temperatures to retain submicron grains (> 92-96% density). ionic conductivity of the sintered pellets was measured using impedance spectroscopy as a function of temperature (200-800 degrees C). The total maximum conductivity was 1.0 x 10(-2)S.cm(-1) (at 600 degrees C) for samples sintered at 1200 degrees C. The activation energy at higher test temperature decreases with the decrease in the sintering temperature (by 25%). The grain boundary, grain interior conductivity and activation energy of the electrolyte were correlated to the resulting microstructure. It has been demonstrated that use of doped nano ceria powder as precursor not only reduced the sintering temperature but also provided segregation free grain boundary for engineering higher conductivity dense electrolytes.