A critical issue in state-of-the-art solid oxide cell stacks is the contacting of the oxygen electrode. The commonly used ceramic contact layers are applied in a green state and cannot be sintered properly, due to compliance limitations arising from other stack components like sealing glasses and steels. The consequence is a low layer and interface strength. A metallic copper manganese foam, which is oxidized under operation conditions into a conductive Cu1+xMn2–xO4 spinel, is presented in this work as a viable contact solution. The foam has been electrochemically tested in a single repeating unit setup for 350 hours of constant operation, followed by dynamic conditions with thermal cycles. After operation, a micro structural analysis using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction was carried out. It was confirmed that after oxidation/operation the manganese solely formed a CuMn-spinel phase, mixed with a CuO phase. A separate Mn-oxide phase was not found. The conductivity and contacting of the foam was sufficient for > 350 h of SOFC operation. With an initial serial resistance comparable to single cell tests using gold foil as contact material and moderate degradation rates, the CuMn foam presented itself as an interesting cathode contact solution.
Zielke, P., Wulff, A. C., Sun, X., Jensen, S. H., Kiebach, W-R., Frandsen, H. L., ... Hagen, A. (2017). Investigation of a Spinel-forming Cu-Mn Foam as an Oxygen Electrode Contact Material in a Solid Oxide Cell Single Repeating Unit. Fuel Cells, 17(5), 730-734. https://doi.org/10.1002/fuce.201700005