Effect of nano-pinholes within ceramic electrolytes of thin-film solid oxide fuel cells

Taehyun Park1, Yeageun Lee, Suk Won Cha#, Ikwhang Chang#

The effect of nano-pinholes in the ceramic electrolyte (yttria-stabilized zirconia) on the performance of a thin-film solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is investigated. As a result, the open-circuit voltage of the thin-film SOFC was not severely affected by the existence and the size of a pinhole. However, the pinhole induced a critical electrical shortage between the anode and cathode if the cathode was deposited onto the pinhole. Thus, a nano-sized pinhole does not significantly induce fuel crossover or critically reduce the performance. It could, however, reduce the performance significantly during the common fabrication step, i.e. deposition of thin-film cathode on an electrolyte, of a thin-film SOFC, especially for larger pinholes.