Ion conducting oxides are commonly used as electrolytes in electrochemical devices including solid oxide fuel cells and oxygen sensors. A typical issue with these oxide electrolytes is sluggish oxygen surface kinetics at the gas-electrolyte interface. An approach to overcome this sluggish kinetics is by engineering the oxide surface with a lower oxygen incorporation barrier. In this study, we engineered the surface doping concentration of a common oxide electrolyte, yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), with the help of atomic layer deposition (ALD). On optimizing the dopant concentration at the surface of single-crystal YSZ, a 5-fold increase in the oxygen surface exchange coefficient of the electrolyte was observed using isotopic oxygen exchange experiments coupled with secondary ion mass spectrometer measurements. The results demonstrate that electrolyte surface engineering with ALD can have a meaningful impact on the performance of electrochemical devices.
- atomic layer deposition
- oxygen isotope exchange/depth profiling
- secondary ion mass spectrometry
- solid oxide fuel cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)