Validating the technological feasibility of yttria-stabilized zirconia-based semiconducting-ionic composite in intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Yixiao Cai
  • Baoyuan Wang
  • Yi Wang
  • Chen Xia
  • Jinli Qiao
  • Peter A. van Aken
  • Bin Zhu
  • Peter Lund

Research units

  • Donghua University
  • Hubei University
  • Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research
  • China University of Geosciences, Wuhan


YSZ as the electrolyte of choice has dominated the progressive development of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technologies for many years. To enable SOFCs operating at intermediate temperatures of 600 °C or below, major technical advances were built on a foundation of a thin-film YSZ electrolyte, NiO anode, and perovskite cathode, e.g. La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ (LSCF). Inspired by functionalities in engineered heterostructure interfaces, the present work uses the components from state-of-the-art SOFCs, i.e, the anode NiO-YSZ and the cathode LSCF-YSZ, or the convergence of all three components, i.e., NiO-YSZ-LSCF, to fabricate semiconductor-ionic membranes (SIMs) and devices. A series of proof-of-concept fuel cell devices are designed by using each of the above SIMs sandwiched between two semiconducting Ni0.8Co0.15Al0.05LiO2-δ (NCAL) layers. We systematically compare these novel designs at 600 °C with two reference fuel cells: a commercial product of anode-supported YSZ electrolyte thin-film cell, and a lab-assembled fuel cell with a conventional configuration of NiO-YSZ (anode)/YSZ (electrolyte)/LSCF-YSZ (cathode). In comparison to the reference cells, the SIM device in a configuration of NCAL/NiO-YSZ-LSCF/NCAL reaches more than 3-fold enhancement of the maximum power output. By using spherical aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy approaches, this work offers insight into the mechanisms underlying SIM-associated SOFC performance enhancement.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318–327
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Heterostructure interfaces, Oxygen enrichment, Semiconductor-ionic membranes, Solid oxide fuel cell

ID: 18333058