Journal article

TEM investigation on zirconate formation and chromium poisoning in LSM/YSZ cathode

Cell durability is a crucial technological issue for SOFC commercialization, and considerable progress has been made in recent years. A number of degradation pathways have been established, amongst which microstructural changes, poisoning effects and formation of less conductive phases. In this study, transmission electron microscopy was used to observe submicron-scale effects on selected cathode zones of an anode supported cell tested in SOFC stack repeat element configuration. The test has been performed with a dedicated segmented test bench, at 800 A degrees C for 1900 h, which allowed to spatially resolve degradation processes, and therefore to improve their correlation with localized post-test analysis. Evidence is presented of reaction products (mainly SrZrO(3)) at the LSM/YSZ interfaces as well as of contaminants, in particular Cr, but also Si. A polarized cell segment is compared to an unpolarized one, to assess any influence of cathode polarization.

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