Thin film components for solid oxide fuel Cells (SOFCs)

Flack, Natasha
Thin film components for solid oxide fuel Cells (SOFCs). PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Thin film components for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) have been investigated in this thesis. This work focuses on electrolyte materials such as samarium doped ceria (SDC) and cathode materials including neodymium barium cobalt oxide (NBCO) and barium calcium yttrium iron oxide. Single layer growth of NBCO or SDC is achieved on single crystal strontium titanate (001) before these materials were grown via pulsed laser deposition as a bi-layer and multilayers. Ordered NBCO required deposition at 850°C, whereas it was found that the SDC grew with a lower surface roughness at lower temperatures of around 650°C. The motivation was to investigate how the conductivity is affected by the interfaces between these layers, as motivated by previous studies of yttrium stabilised zirconia (YSZ) with strontium titanate (STO). NBCO was found to be unstable at the temperatures required for AC impedance measurements. From the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) data there is likely migration of Nd into the SDC layers. The interfaces are also less sharp for the multilayer films deposited at the higher temperature for the SDC growth. However, in all cases the SDC growth appears more favourable in the TEM when compared to the NBCO, with some regions even showing Co-metal and fluorite structures potentially attributed to Co-Ox where we would expect to see the perovskite block. Thin films of barium calcium yttrium iron oxide were grown on single crystal strontium titanate (001). The material is a candidate cathode for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and in the intermediate temperature (IT) region at 600°C the in-plane AC conductivity of the thin film is found to be 30.0Scm-1, significantly enhanced over 3.5Scm-1 found for the polycrystalline form. This is assigned to reduction of the grain boundary density and alignment of the planes predicted to have the highest electronic and ionic conductivities. The symmetry of the film appears to be tetragonal within the resolution of the measurements employed, as opposed to the orthorhombic symmetry of the bulk phase, which may be attributed to the in-plane structural match between the cubic STO substrate and the grown layer. Three potential geometries investigating both single and double-sided growth for measuring the area specific resistance of thin films are discussed and an experimental prototype constructed and tested.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-09 (completed)
Subjects: ?? QD ??
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2015 13:57
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:28
DOI: 10.17638/02007271