Proton-conducting Fuel or Electrolysis Cells (PCFCs) are thought to be a promising alternative to Solid Oxide Fuel/Electrolysis Cells [1-2]. The most interesting proton conducting materials for electrolytes include doped barium zirconate, doped barium cerate or their solid solution. Recently, an innovative approach was proposed which allowed obtaining dense ceramics with grain size of typically 2-4 µm. This new process is based on the reactive sintering of all oxide precursors with the use of NiO as sintering aid [2-4]. Besides being dense, the samples obtained, such as yttrium-doped barium zirconate (BZY), show a very high proton conduction with little influence of Ni-species on conduction properties.
We tested the mechanical properties of this BZY material for application as PCFCs electrolyte and we showed that materials made from this process present a fast degradation of mechanical properties when put in hydrogen-rich conditions.
The objective of the present work was thus to understand the atomic-scale origin of this fast degradation. For this purpose, different electron microscopy techniques have used such as Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM-HAADF), Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Electron Energy Loss spectroscopy (EELS). Structural and chemical microscopy analysis show that the sample failure is due to the reduction of NiO nanoparticles at grain boundaries (Figure 1, 2).
Acknowledgments : The microscopy work was carried out within the MATMECA consortium supported by the ANR under contract number ANR-10-EQUIPEX-37.
1 F. Lefebvre-Joud, G. Gauthier, J. Mougin, J. Applied Electrochem., 2009, 39(4), 535
2 E. Ruiz-Trejo, J.T.S. Irvine, Solid State Ionics, 2012, 216, 36–40
3 S. Nikodemski, J. Tong, R. O’Hayre, Solid State Ionics, 2013, 253, 201
4 J.H. Tong, D. Clarck, L. Bernau, M Sanders, R. O’Hayre, J. Materials Chem., 2010, 20(30), 6333
To cite this abstract:Paul HAGHI-ASHTIANI, Mohamed BEN HASSINE, Desiree CIRIA, Manuel JIMENEZ-MELENDO, Veronique AUBIN, Guilhem DEZANNEAU; Electron microscopy characterization of yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolytes prepared with Ni additive: Influence of hydrogen treatment. The 16th European Microscopy Congress, Lyon, France. https://emc-proceedings.com/abstract/electron-microscopy-characterization-of-yttrium-doped-barium-zirconate-electrolytes-prepared-with-ni-additive-influence-of-hydrogen-treatment/. Accessed: December 2, 2023
EMC Abstracts - https://emc-proceedings.com/abstract/electron-microscopy-characterization-of-yttrium-doped-barium-zirconate-electrolytes-prepared-with-ni-additive-influence-of-hydrogen-treatment/