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Nat Commun. 2017 Feb 23;8:14553. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14553.

Demonstrating the potential of yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte for high-performance fuel cells.

Author information

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Anam-ro 145, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea.
2
High-Temperature Energy Materials Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), 5, Hwarang-ro 14-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02792, Republic of Korea.
3
Nanomaterials Science and Engineering, Korea University of Science and Technology (UST), KIST Campus, Seoul 02792, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

In reducing the high operating temperatures (≥800 °C) of solid-oxide fuel cells, use of protonic ceramics as an alternative electrolyte material is attractive due to their high conductivity and low activation energy in a low-temperature regime (≤600 °C). Among many protonic ceramics, yttrium-doped barium zirconate has attracted attention due to its excellent chemical stability, which is the main issue in protonic-ceramic fuel cells. However, poor sinterability of yttrium-doped barium zirconate discourages its fabrication as a thin-film electrolyte and integration on porous anode supports, both of which are essential to achieve high performance. Here we fabricate a protonic-ceramic fuel cell using a thin-film-deposited yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte with no impeding grain boundaries owing to the columnar structure tightly integrated with nanogranular cathode and nanoporous anode supports, which to the best of our knowledge exhibits a record high-power output of up to an order of magnitude higher than those of other reported barium zirconate-based fuel cells.

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