Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) with 8 mol% Y was deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering onto oxidized (100) silicon substrates. It was possible to switch film texture from (111) to (200) by applying a strong RF substrate bias. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the film deposited under bias is porous and exhibits nanoscaled grains. whereas the film deposited without bias is dense and columnar. The ionic conductivity as a function of temperature revealed an activation energy of 1.04 eV. The mechanical stress could be tuned to low values by thermal post-annealing. Using the dense (111) film as electrolyte layer, and the porous (200) film as an interlayer to a porous Pt anode, an open circuit voltage of 0.85 V was obtained in a micro machined fuel cell structure. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.