Carbon tolerance of Ni–Cu and Ni–Cu/YSZ sub-μm sized SOFC thin film model systems

Publication from Materials

Thomas Götsch, Thomas Schachinger, Michael Stöger-Pollach, Reinhard Kaindl, Simon Penner

Applied Surfac Science Volume 402, Pages 1-11, 4/2017


Thin films of YSZ, unsupported Ni–Cu 1:1 alloy phases and YSZ-supported Ni–Cu 1:1 alloy solutions have been reproducibly prepared by magnetron sputter deposition on Si wafers and NaCl(001) single crystal facets at two selected substrate temperatures of 298 K and 873 K. Subsequently, the layer properties of the resulting sub-μm thick thin films as well as the tendency towards carbon deposition following treatment in pure methane at 1073 K has been tested comparatively. Well-crystallized structures of cubic YSZ, cubic NiCu and cubic NiCu/YSZ have been obtained following deposition at 873 K on both substrates. Carbon is deposited on all samples following the trend Ni–Cu (1:1) = Ni–Cu (1:1)/YSZ > pure YSZ, indicating that at least the 1:1 composition of layered Ni–Cu alloy phases is not able to suppress the carbon deposition completely, rendering it unfavorable for usage as anode component in sub-μm sized fuel cells. It is shown that surfaces with a high Cu/Ni ratio nevertheless prohibit any carbon deposition.