Probe electrode study of cathodically polarized PtIr-YSZ interfaces

  • Karin Vels HansenEmail author
  • Kosova Kreka
  • Torben Jacobsen
Original Paper


Local cathodic polarizations of yttria-stabilized zirconia were carried out with a PtIr probe as the working electrode in a controlled atmosphere high temperature scanning probe microscope to investigate the reduction of zirconia. Impedance spectroscopy was performed at 650 °C during increasing and decreasing polarization, in a range between 0.5 and − 2 V in 9% H2 in N2 saturated with water vapor at room temperature (25 °C). With increased polarization, the impedance spectra changed from a simple suppressed arc at low polarizations into two capacitive arcs separated by an inductive loop and followed by an inductive loop at low frequencies. Areas with high conductance as well as significantly decreased high-frequency resistances resulted from the polarizations and indicate the introduction of electronic conductivity in YSZ. Near the probe|YSZ contacts, areas with very low conductance and accumulation of Si-containing particles were observed, pointing to additional migration of silica impurities towards the probe.


PtIr-YSZ Strong cathodic polarization Inductive impedance CAHT-SPM 



Stimulating discussions with Mogens Bjerg Mogensen and Christodoulos Chatzichristodoulou are greatly appreciated.

Funding information

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from through the ForskEL program “Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for the Renewable Energy Transition” contract no 2014-1-12231 and from ECoProbe (DFF—4005-00129) funded by the Danish Independent Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Energy Conversion and StorageTechnical University of DenmarkRoskildeDenmark
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryTechnical University of DenmarkKgs. LyngbyDenmark

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