Nano-structured solid oxide fuel cell design with superior power output at high and intermediate operation temperatures
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- Van Gestel, T., Han, F., Sebold, D. et al. Microsyst Technol (2011) 17: 233. doi:10.1007/s00542-011-1257-3
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A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with a thin-film yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte was developed and tested. This novel SOFC shows a similar multilayer set-up as other current anode-supported SOFCs and is composed of a Ni/8YSZ anode, a gas-tight 8YSZ electrolyte layer, a dense Sr-diffusion barrier layer and a LSCF cathode. To increase the power density and lower the SOFC operating temperature, the thickness of the electrolyte layer was reduced from around 10 μm in current cells to 1 μm, using a nanoparticle deposition method. By using the novel 1 μm electrolyte layer, the current density of our SOFC progressed to 2.7, 2.1 and 1.6 A/cm2 at operation temperatures of 800, 700 and 650°C, respectively, and out-performs all similar cells reported to date in the literature. An important consideration is also that cost-effective dip-coating and spin-coating methods are applied for the fabrication of the thin-film electrolyte. Processing of 1 μm layers on the very porous anode substrate material was initially experienced as very difficult and therefore 8YSZ nanoparticle coatings were developed and optimized on porous 8YSZ model substrates and transferred afterwards to regular anode substrates. In this paper, the preparation of the novel SOFC is shown and its morphology is illustrated with high resolution SEM pictures. Further, the performance in a standard SOFC test is demonstrated.