A method is described for quantitatively analyzing the level of interconnectivity of solid-oxide fuel cell electrode phases. The method was applied to the three-dimensional microstructure of a NiY2O3-stabilized ZrO2 (Ni-YSZ) anode active layer measured by focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy. Each individual contiguous network of Ni, YSZ, and porosity was identified and labeled according to whether it was contiguous with the rest of the electrode. It was determined that the YSZ phase was 100% connected, whereas at least 86% of the Ni and 96% of the pores were connected. Triple-phase boundary (TPB) segments were identified and evaluated with respect to the contiguity of each of the three phases at their locations. It was found that 11.6% of the TPB length was on one or more isolated phases and hence was not electrochemically active.
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