Deposition of nickel oxide-yttria stabilized zirconia thin films by reactive magnetron sputtering

A. A. Solovyev, A. M. Lebedynskiy, A. V. Shipilova, I. V. Ionov, E. A. Smolyanskiy, A. L. Lauk, G. E. Remnev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Nickel oxide-yttria stabilized zirconia (NiO-YSZ) thin films were reactively sputter-deposited by pulsed direct current magnetron sputtering from the Ni and Zr-Y targets onto heated commercial NiO-YSZ substrates. The microstructure and composition of the deposited films were investigated with regard to application as thin anode functional layers (AFLs) for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The porosity and microstructure of both as-deposited and annealed at 1200 °C for 2 h AFLs were studied by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffractometry and controlled by changing the deposition process parameters. The results show that annealing in air at 1200 °C is required to improve film crystallinity and structural homogeneity. NiO-YSZ films have pores and grains of several hundred nanometers in size after reduction in hydrogen. Adhesion of deposited films was evaluated by scratch test. Anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells with the magnetron sputtered anode functional layer, YSZ electrolyte and La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3/Ce0.9Gd0.1O2 (LSCF/CGO) cathode were fabricated and tested. Influence of thin anode functional layer on performance of anode-supported SOFCs was studied. It was shown that electrochemical properties of the single fuel cells depend on the NiO volume content in the NiO-YSZ anode functional layer. Microstructural changes of NiO-YSZ layers after nickel reduction-oxidation (redox) cycling were studied. After nine redox cycles at 750 °C in partial oxidation conditions, the cell with the anode NiO-YSZ layer showed stable open circuit voltage values with the power density decrease by 11% only.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018


  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Microstructure
  • Redox cycling
  • Solid oxide fuel cells
  • Thin-film anode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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