Post-Annealing of Thin-Film Yttria Stabilized Zirconia Electrolytes for Anode-Supported Low-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel

Jiwoong Bae, Ikwhang Chang, Sungmin Kang, Soonwook Hong, Suk Won Cha, Young Beom Kim

The effects of a post-annealing treatment on the performance of low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (LT-SOFCs) were investigated. Nickel oxide-samarium doped ceria (NiO-SDC) anodes and yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolytes were deposited on anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes by RF sputtering and DC reactive sputtering, respectively. The half-cell of YSZ/NiO-SDC was then heat-treated at 600 degrees C for 10 h, and a porous platinum (Pt) cathode was deposited on the annealed YSZ/NiO-SDC structure by DC magnetron sputtering. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis revealed a significant decrease in the ohmic resistance and a slight increase in the cathodic impedance. Such a result may be attributed to the increased grain size and enhanced crystallinity of the YSZ electrolyte after the heat treatment. The maximum power density observed for the heat-treated cell was 35 mW/cm2 at 450 degrees C, more than three times higher than the 10 mW/cm2 value obtained for the as-deposited cell.