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Solid oxide fuel cells with a thin film electrolyte: A review on manufacturing technologies and electrochemical characteristics

Liliya A. Dunyushkina


Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are electrochemical systems converting the energy released during fuel oxidation into electrical energy. SOFCs are considered as a promising clean energy technology due to the high efficiency of fuel-to-power conversion and environmental friendliness. The potential applications of SOFCs extend from stationary power generation units for industrial and household facilities to auxiliary power units in vehicles and portable power sources. One of the main elements of SOFCs is a solid oxide electrolyte possessing ionic conductivity at high temperatures (above 700 °C). The main challenge in the SOFC commercialization is related to their high operating temperature, which entails materials degradation, short life-time, long start-up and shut-down times, and high cost. One of the most effective ways to reduce the SOFC operating temperature is to minimize the electrolyte thickness. In this regard, fabrication of SOFCs with a thin film electrolyte has been attracting high research activity over the past few decades. Different fabrication techniques were reported to be applicable for manufacturing thin film SOFCs, and the fuel cell performance was found to be highly dependent on the appropriate selection of materials and processing technologies. The present review is focused on state-of-the-art fabrication technologies of the thin film SOFCs. A brief survey of configurations and geometries of the thin film SOFCs and methods of deposition of solid-oxide films is given. Special attention is focused on the electrical generation performance of the thin film SOFCs.


electrode-supported SOFC; metal-supported SOFC; thin film electrolyte; film deposition; freestanding electrolyte

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