Direct ceramic inkjet printing of yttria-stabilized zirconia electrolyte layers for anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells
Electromagnetic drop-on-demand direct ceramic inkjet printing (EM/DCIJP) was employed to fabricate dense yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte layers on a porous NiO-YSZ anode support from ceramic suspensions. Printing parameters including pressure, nozzle opening time and droplet overlapping were studied in order to optimize the surface quality of the YSZ coating. It was found that moderate overlapping and multiple coatings produce the desired membrane quality. A single fuel cell with a NiO-YSZ/YSZ (∼6 μm)/LSM + YSZ/LSM architecture was successfully prepared. The cell was tested using humidified hydrogen as the fuel and ambient air as the oxidant. The cell provided a power density of 170 mW cm -2 at 800 °C. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed a highly coherent dense YSZ electrolyte layer with no open porosity. These results suggest that the EM/DCIJP inkjet printing technique can be successfully implemented to fabricate electrolyte coatings for SOFC thinner than 10 μm and comparable in quality to those fabricated by more conventional ceramic processing methods.