Effects of strong cathodic polarization of the Ni-YSZ interface

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Long-term strong cathodic polarization experiments of down to -2.4 V vs. (O2) of the Ni-YSZ interface were performed at 900°C in 97% H2/3% H2O on model electrodes. The Ni-YSZ interface underwent extensive changes and a large affected volume with a complex microstructure and phase distribution resulted. Impedance spectroscopy shows initial decrease but later increase in the series resistance and polarization resistance during the 140-160 h of polarization, and significant inductive behavior. An intermetallic Ni-Zr phase that formed during polarization was preserved when the polarization was kept during cooling, and was identified post-mortem by transmission electron microscopy as Ni7Zr2. ZrO2 nanoparticles were formed on the Ni-gas surface next to the Ni-YSZ-gas triple phase boundary. Explanations of the observed features are offered based on electron microscopy and impedance spectroscopy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalElectrochemical Society. Journal
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1217-1227
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Dissolution of Zr
  • Intermetallics
  • Ni-YSZ cathode
  • Reduction of zirconia
  • SOEC
  • Strong polarization
  • Zirconia nanoparticles


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