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Evolution of electrochemical interfaces in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC): a Ni and Zr resonant anomalous ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering studywith elemental and spatial resolution across the cell assembly



Andrew J. Allen, Jan Ilavsky, Pete R. Jemian, Artur Braun


Electrochemical interfaces are key to the direct conversion of fuels to electrical energy and lend energy converters like solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) their functionality. Over extended operation at high temperatures, the microstructure of the underlying component materials in the cathodes, anodes and electrolytes evolve to an extent that these interfaces become affected and ultimately impaired, giving rise to performance degradation. We present anomalous ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering (anomalous USAXS) measurements to quantify the component phase interfacial surface areas as a function of position within the electrodes and electrolyte of a SOFC assembly. Using USAXS at a 3rd generation X-ray synchrotron facility, the primary microstructural parameters obtained are the mean feature size, size distribution and surface area, determined over a contiguous length scale from nanometers to micrometers in a single measurement at a given position. Here, a spatial resolution of
RSC Advances


solid oxide fuel cells, anomalous small angle X-ray scattering, microstructure characterization, sulfur degradation, synchrotron radiation
Created June 1, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018