Reactive sputtering deposition and electrochemical characterisation of thin solid electrolyte membranes for solid oxide fuel cells
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Solid oxide fuel cells directly convert the chemical energy of a fuel into electricity. To enhance the efficiency of the fuel cells, the thickness of the gastight solid electrolyte membranes should be as thin as possible.
Y2O3-stabilised ZrO2 (YSZ) electrolyte films were prepared by reactive sputtering deposition using Zr/Y targets in Ar/O2 atmospheres. The films were 5 – 8 μm thin and were deposited onto anode substrates made of a NiO/YSZ composite. After deposition of a cathode with the composition La0.65Sr0.35MnO3 the electrochemical properties of such a fuel cell were tested under operating conditions at temperatures between 600 °C and 850 °C. Current-voltage curves were recorded and impedance measurements were performed to calculate apparent activation energies from the fitted resistance data. The conductivity of the YSZ films varied between 4.6·10−6 S/cm and 2.2·10−5 S/cm at 400 °C and the fuel cell gave a reasonable power density of 0.4 W/cm2 at 0.7 V and 790 °C using H2 with 3 % H2O as fuel gas. The gas compositions were varied to distinguish the electrochemical processes of the anode and cathode in the impedance spectra.
KeywordsActivation Energy Fuel Cell Apparent Activation Energy Chemical Energy Impedance Spectrum
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