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Open Access Nano Express

Triple-phase boundary and power density enhancement in thin solid oxide fuel cells by controlled etching of the nickel anode

Rabi Ebrahim12*, Mukhtar Yeleuov4, Ainur Issova4, Serekbol Tokmoldin4 and Alex Ignatiev1234

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Advanced Materials, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5004, USA

2 Department of Physics, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5005, USA

3 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-4005, USA

4 Institute of Physics and Technology, Almaty 050032, Kazakhstan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:286  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-286

Published: 9 June 2014

Abstract

Fabrication of microporous structures for the anode of a thin film solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC(s)) using controlled etching process has led us to increased power density and increased cell robustness. Micropores were etched in the nickel anode by both wet and electrochemical etching processes. The samples etched electrochemically showed incomplete etching of the nickel leaving linked nickel islands inside the pores. Samples which were wet- etched showed clean pores with no nickel island residues. Moreover, the sample with linked nickel islands in the anode pores showed higher output power density as compared to the sample with clean pores. This enhancement is related to the enlargement of the surface of contact between the fuel-anode-electrolyte (the triple-phase boundary).

Keywords:
Thin film; Solid oxide; Fuel cell; Triple-phase boundaries; YSZ; LSCO