Nonmetallic Inorganic Materials

Novel solid oxide fuel cells

Our research focuses on both material and fundamental aspects of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). One of our objectives consists of improving components for intermediate temperature SOFCs. Synthesis of thin ceramic films as alternative electrolyte and anode material are current topics of research. In parallel, we focus on a better understanding of the chemical and electrochemical processes at the solid/gas interphase of ionic and mixed ionic electronic ceramic conductors.

Reaction Mechanisms at SOFC cathodes: The mechanisms and kinetics of oxygen reduction at SOFC cathodes are investigated using State-Space Modelling (SSM) and Impedance Spectroscopy. The SSM approach allows for a numerical simulation of impedance spectra directly from a mechanistic model through an admittance transfer function which depends on the kinetics parameters of the reaction. Simulated and experimental impedance data are compared via an optimization process. Oxygen reduction is studied for different cathodic interfaces, notably LSM/YSZ (high temperature SOFC) and LSCF/CGO (intermediate temperature SOFC).(More...)

Thin Ceramic Coatings Prepared by Spray Pyrolysis: Thin film coatings of ceramic materials are widely used as corrosion protection layers, thermal barrier coatings or in special (electro)optical applications. The spray pyrolysis process provides the potential to produce thin ceramic coatings at temperatures below 500°C, even on porous substrates. The aim of the project is the development of an inexpensive manufacturing process for ceria or yttria based thin films suitable as low resistance electrolytes for SOFCs. This includes the identification of all critical spray process parameters, the optimization and the characterization of the coating.(More...)


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