Scientific reports

Visualizing the structural evolution of LSM/xYSZ composite cathodes for SOFC by in-situ neutron diffraction.

PMID 24899139


Thermal stability of composite cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells, the mixtures of (La0.8Sr0.2)0.95MnO(3-δ) (LSM) and (Y2O3)(x)(ZrO2)(1-x) (xYSZ, x = 3, 6, 8 and 10), is determined using in-situ neutron diffraction. Thanks to the most advanced high flux neutron source, our work highlights the visualization of the phase evolutions in heterogeneous material systems at high temperatures, along with the analysis of the diffusion activities of transition metal ions that reveal the reaction mechanism and kinetics. It is found that the tetragonal-to-cubic phase transition in YSZ at T > 900°C leads to a heterogeneous redistribution of Mn ions. The subsequent reaction of LSM and YSZ occurring at T > 1100°C is revealed as a three-stage kinetic process, yielding La2Zr2O7, SrZrO3 and MnO. The diffusion activities of Y, Mn and La ions in the heterogeneous systems at elevated temperatures are derived by the structural analysis, and the three-stage reaction of YSZ and LSM is found strongly correlated to ions' behaviors as functions of temperature.