West Virginia University (WVU) will improve the power density and durability of commercial solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) through tailoring the nanostructure of the surface of cathodes. Cathodes possess complex three dimensional topographies, which will be improved through atomic layer deposition (ALD) coating and thermal treatment. The target material systems of the composite electrodes are lanthanum strontium manganite/yttria-stabilized zirconia (LSM/YSZ) and lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite/samaria-doped ceria (LSCF/SDC). Emphasis will be towards applications at temperatures of 650-800 degrees Celsius (°C). The formation of the designed nanoarchitecture on the surface of SOFC cathodes will be achieved through precise control of ALD parameters and subsequent heat-treatment to form the engineered nano-architecture. Full cell electrochemical performance testing and nanostructure characterization by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) will be used to investigate the formation of the engineered nano-scale architecture on the surface of SOFC cathodes. The overall effect on cell performance and the resultant electrochemical reaction mechanism will be quantified and described, respectively.
This work will enhance power density and increase reliability, robustness, and endurance of commercial SOFCs over the entire operational temperature range of 650-800°C.