The degradation of anode-supported cells was studied over 1500 h as a function of cell polarization either in air or oxygen on the cathode side. Based on impedance analysis, contributions of the anode and cathode to the increase of total resistance were assigned. Accordingly, the degradation rates of the cathode were strongly dependent on the pO(2). Microstructural analysis of the cathode/electrolyte interface carried out after removal of the cathode showed craters on the electrolyte surface where the lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM) particles had been located. The changes of shape and size of these craters observed after testing correlated with the cell voltage degradation rates. The results can be interpreted in terms of element redistribution at the cathode/electrolyte interface and formation of foreign phases giving rise to a weakening of local contact points of the LSM cathode and yttria-stabilized zirconia electrolyte and consequently a reduced three-phase boundary length. (C) 2008 The Electrochemical Society.
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