Geometry-controlled triple phase boundary study for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells reaction kinetics

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In this work, the triple phase boundary (TPB) characteristics of the platinum (Pt)/yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) interface in low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (LT-SOFCs) was examined through the development of a novel nano electrode fabrication method utilizing nanosphere lithography and Langmuir-Blodgett methods. Dense Pt cathode structures with close-packed circular openings about 300 to 600 nm in diameter were successfully fabricated on 300 m-thick single crystalline YSZ substrates, through which the underlying YSZ surface was exposed to the gas phase. Fuel cell current-voltage behavior and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements were carried out in the temperature range of 300∼450 C. The fuel cell performance, as evaluated by the peak power density, confirmed that the TPB is the actual electrochemical reaction site, as a proportional relationship was observed between the peak power density and an increase in the TPB density. In addition, electrochemical studies on the cathode interface resistance with different TPB geometries enabled a qualitative estimation of the electrochemically active region or the TPB width for the fuel cell charge transfer reaction. The fabrication and experiment methods employed in this work provide an opportunity to investigate electrode/electrolyte interface characteristics under real fuel cell operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7895-7901
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2013 Dec 1


  • Low-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
  • Nanosphere Lithography
  • Novel Nano Electrode Structure
  • Triple Phase Boundary

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