In electrode-supported solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) with a thin electrolyte, the electrolyte performance can be affected by its interaction with the electrode, therefore, it is particularly important to study the charge transport properties of thin electrode-supported electrolytes. The transport numbers of charged species in Ni-cermet supported Sr0.98
(SZY) membranes were studied and compared to those of the bulk membrane. SZY films of 2.5 μm thickness were fabricated by the chemical solution deposition technique. It was shown that the surface layer of the films contained 1.5–2 at.% Ni due to Ni diffusion from the substrate. The Ni-cermet supported 2.5 μm-thick membrane operating in the fuel cell mode was found to possess the effective transport number of oxygen ions of 0.97 at 550 °C, close to that for the bulk SZY membrane (0.99). The high ionic transport numbers indicate that diffusional interaction between SZY films and Ni-cermet supporting electrodes does not entail electrolyte degradation. The relationship between SZY conductivity and oxygen partial pressure was derived from the data on effective conductivity and ionic transport numbers for the membrane operating under two different oxygen partial pressure gradients—in air/argon and air/hydrogen concentration cells.
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