(La 0.8Sr 0.2)MnO 3-Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (LSM-YSZ) cathodes fired at various temperatures were studied using Focused Ion Beam -Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) three-dimensional (3D) tomography and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). The total cathode polarization resistance, measured at 800°C in air, showed a minimum versus firing temperature, T f, at 1175C. The EIS showed two dominant responses that were fit well using a two (R-CPE) element equivalent circuit. The higher frequency (10 4-10 5 Hz) response, attributed to YSZ grain boundary resistance within the LSM-YSZ composite, decreased with increasing T f and was explained by grain size increases estimated from the 3D structural data. The main EIS response, attributed to the oxygen reduction process, decreased in characteristic frequency from 500 to 1 Hz as T f increased, while its magnitude was minimized at 1175°C. An electrochemical model quantitatively predicted the resistance minimum based primarily on a maximum in the density of electrochemically-active three-phase boundaries (TPBs), measured using 3D tomography. The active TPB density maximum resulted from two factors: substantial particle coarsening and densification at high T f that yielded a low TPB density, and low LSM-particle percolation at low T f that yielded a low fraction of active TPBs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry