Fabrication of Nanostructured Electrodes and Interfaces Using Combustion CVD
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Reducing fabrication and operation costs while maintaining high performance is a major consideration for the design of a new generation of solid-state ionic devices such as fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. The objective of this research is to fabricate nanostructured materials for energy storage and conversion, particularly porous electrodes with nanostructured features for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and high surface area films for gas sensing using a combustion CVD process. This research started with the evaluation of the most important deposition parameters: deposition temperature, deposition time, precursor concentration, and substrate. With the optimum deposition parameters, highly porous and nanostructured electrodes for low-temperature SOFCs have been then fabricated. Further, nanostructured and functionally graded La0.8Sr0.2MnO2-La0.8SrCoO3-Gd0.1Ce0.9O2 composite cathodes were fabricated on YSZ electrolyte supports. Extremely low interfacial polarization resistances (i.e. 0.43 Wcm2 at 700¡ãC) and high power densities (i.e. 481 mW/cm2 at 800¡ãC) were generated at operating temperature range of 600¡ãC-850¡ãC. The original combustion CVD process is modified to directly employ solid ceramic powder instead of clear solution for fabrication of porous electrodes for solid oxide fuel cells. Solid particles of SOFC electrode materials suspended in an organic solvent were burned in a combustion flame, depositing a porous cathode on an anode supported electrolyte. Combustion CVD was also employed to fabricate highly porous and nanostructured SnO2 thin film gas sensors with Pt interdigitated electrodes. The as-prepared SnO2 gas sensors were tested for ethanol vapor sensing behavior in the temperature range of 200-500¡ãC and showed excellent sensitivity, selectivity, and speed of response. Moreover, several novel nanostructures were synthesized using a combustion CVD process, including SnO2 nanotubes with square-shaped or rectangular cross sections, well-aligned ZnO nanorods, and two-dimensional ZnO flakes. Solid-state gas sensors based on single piece of these nanostructures demonstrated superior gas sensing performances. These size-tunable nanostructures could be the building blocks of or a template for fabrication of functional devices. In summary, this research has developed new ways for fabrication of high-performance solid-state ionic devices and has helped generating fundamental understanding of the correlation between processing conditions, microstructure, and properties of the synthesized structures.