Ultrathin sputtered platinum-gadolinium doped ceria cathodic interlayer for enhanced performance of low temperature solid oxide fuel cells

Wonyeop Jeong1, Wonjong Yu1, Myung Seok Lee, Seoung Jai Bai, Gu Young Cho#, Suk Won Cha#

Improvement of the sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is the key to lower the operating temperature of conventional solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Developing a novel nanostructure in the cathodic catalyst layer is one of the efficient ways to reduce the operating temperature while improving fuel cell performance. In this paper, all components of low-temperature SOFCs were prepared on a nanoporous substrate by the sputtering method. For the performance enhancement at low temperature, an ultrathin Pt-Gadolinium Doped Ceria (GDC) cermet interlayer was deposited on the cathode side of electrolyte and demonstrated. A significant improvement in electrochemical performance was observed in the Pt-GDC interlayer fuel cell compared to a reference cell. The peak power density of Pt-GDC cathodic cermet interlayer cell was 334 mW/cm2 at 500 °C, which was 42.7% higher than that of the reference cell. Through additional analysis, we confirmed that the observed performance enhancement was attributed to the ultrathin cathodic cermet interlayer, which increases the triple phase boundary and enhances the reaction kinetics for ORR.