Theory, Investigation and Stability of Cathode Electrocatalytic Activity

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The main objective of this project is to systematically characterize the surface composition, morphology, and electro-catalytic properties of catalysts coated on LSCF, aiming to establish the scientific basis for rational design of high-performance cathodes by combining a porous backbone (such as LSCF) with a thin catalyst coating. The understanding gained will help us to optimize the composition and morphology of the catalyst layer and microstructure of the LSCF backbone for better performance. More specifically, the technical objectives include: (1) to characterize the surface composition, morphology, and electro-catalytic properties of catalysts coated on LSCF; (2) to characterize the microscopic details and ... continued below

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Ding, Dong; Liu, Mingfei; Lai, Samson; Blinn, Kevin & Liu, Meilin September 30, 2012.

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Description

The main objective of this project is to systematically characterize the surface composition, morphology, and electro-catalytic properties of catalysts coated on LSCF, aiming to establish the scientific basis for rational design of high-performance cathodes by combining a porous backbone (such as LSCF) with a thin catalyst coating. The understanding gained will help us to optimize the composition and morphology of the catalyst layer and microstructure of the LSCF backbone for better performance. More specifically, the technical objectives include: (1) to characterize the surface composition, morphology, and electro-catalytic properties of catalysts coated on LSCF; (2) to characterize the microscopic details and stability of the LSCF-catalyst (e.g., LSM) interfaces; (3) to establish the scientific basis for rational design of high-performance cathodes by combining a porous backbone (such as LSCF) with a thin catalyst coating; and (4) to demonstrate that the performance and stability of porous LSCF cathodes can be enhanced by the application of a thin-film coating of LSM through a solution infiltration process in small homemade button cells and in commercially available cells of larger dimension. We have successfully developed dense, conformal LSM films with desired structure, composition, morphology, and thickness on the LSCF surfaces by two different infiltration processes: a non-aqueous and a water-based sol-gel process. It is demonstrated that the activity and stability of LSCF cathodes can be improved by the introduction of a thin-film LSM coating through an infiltration process. Surface and interface of the LSM-coated LSCF cathode were systematically characterized using advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. TEM observation suggests that a layer of La and Sr oxide was formed on LSCF surfaces after annealing. With LSM infiltration, in contrast, we no longer observe such La/Sr oxide layer on the LSM-coated LSCF samples after annealing under similar conditions. This was also confirmed by x-ray analyses. For example, soft x-ray XANES data reveal that Co cations displace the Mn cations as being more favored to be reduced. Variations in the Sr-O in the annealed LSCF Fourier-transformed (FT) EXAFS suggest that some Sr segregation is occurring, but is not present in the annealed LSM-infiltrated LSCF cathode materials. Further, a surface enhanced Raman technique was also developed into to probe and map LSM and LSCF phase on underlying YSZ substrate, enabling us to capture important chemical information of cathode surfaces under practical operating conditions. Electrochemical models for the design of test cells and understanding of mechanism have been developed for the exploration of fundamental properties of electrode materials. Novel catalyst coatings through particle depositions (SDC, SSC, and LCC) or continuous thin films (PSM and PSCM) were successfully developed to improve the activity and stability of LSCF cathodes. Finally, we have demonstrated enhanced activity and stability of LSCF cathodes over longer periods of time in homemade and commercially available cells by an optimized LSM infiltration process. Microstructure examination of the tested cells did not show obvious differences between blank and infiltrated cells, suggesting that the infiltrated LSM may form a coherent film on the LSCF cathodes. There was no significant change in the morphology or microstructure of the LSCF cathode due to the structural similarity of LSCF and LSM. Raman analysis of the tested cells indicated small peaks emerging on the blank cells that correspond to trace amounts of secondary phase formation during operation (e.g., CoO{sub x}). The formation of this secondary phase might be attributed to performance degradation. In contrast, there was no such secondary phase observed in the LSM infiltrated cells, indicating that the LSM modification staved off secondary phase formation and thus improved the stability.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: NT0006557
  • DOI: 10.2172/1084035 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1084035
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc828377

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  • September 30, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Dec. 8, 2016, 11:48 p.m.

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Ding, Dong; Liu, Mingfei; Lai, Samson; Blinn, Kevin & Liu, Meilin. Theory, Investigation and Stability of Cathode Electrocatalytic Activity, report, September 30, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc828377/: accessed August 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.