Ionic conductivity and thermal stability of magnetron-sputtered nanocrystalline yttria-stabilized zirconia

M. Sillassen, P. Eklund, M. Sridharan, Nini Pryds, Nikolaos Bonanos, J. Bøttiger

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    Abstract

    Thermally stable, stoichiometric, cubic yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) thin-film electrolytes have been synthesized by reactive pulsed dc magnetron sputtering from a Zr–Y (80/20 at. %) alloy target. Films deposited at floating potential had a texture. Single-line profile analysis of the 111 x-ray diffraction peak yielded a grain size of ~20 nm and a microstrain of ~2% regardless of deposition temperature. Films deposited at 400 °C and selected bias voltages in the range from −70 to −200 V showed a reduced grain size for higher bias voltages, yielding a grain size of ~6 nm and a microstrain of ~2.5% at bias voltages of −175 and −200 V with additional incorporation of argon. The films were thermally stable; very limited grain coarsening was observed up to an annealing temperature of 800 °C. Temperature-dependent impedance spectroscopy analysis of the YSZ films with Ag electrodes showed that the in-plane ionic conductivity was within one order of magnitude higher in films deposited with substrate bias corresponding to a decrease in grain size compared to films deposited at floating potential. This suggests that there is a significant contribution to the ionic conductivity from grain boundaries. The activation energy for oxygen ion migration was determined to be between 1.14 and 1.30 eV. ©2009 American Institute of Physics
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Applied Physics
    Volume105
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)104907
    ISSN0021-8979
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright (2009) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

    Keywords

    • Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
    • Fuel Cells and hydrogen

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