1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Center for Electron Nanoscopy, Technical University of Denmark3 Materials and Surface Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark4 Topsoe Fuel Cell
Metallic interconnects in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks are often in direct contact with a nickel/yttria stabilized zirconia (Ni/YSZ) cermet anode. Interdiffusion between the two components may occur at the operating temperature of 700–850◦C. The alteration of chemical composition can result in phase transformation of the steel and in formation of oxides with a poor electrical conductivity in the anode. In this study, the area specific resistance (ASR) of the steel Crofer 22 APU, in contact with a Ni/YSZ anode with and without a tape casted CeO2 barrier layer was measured in simulated SOFC anode conditions at 800◦C. The microstructure in the contact area was characterized using scanning electron microscopy techniques. The ASR was low for the steel in direct contact with the Ni/YSZ anode. Nickel diffusion into the steel resulted in a fine grained zone, which was identified as ferrite. The zone is austenitic at the exposure temperature but transforms to ferrite during cooling. When a CeO2 nickel diffusion barrier layer was used The ASR was considerably higher. These results imply that nickel diffusion is not only detrimental: It leads to microstructural instability but also results in a low electrical resistance of the anode/interconnect contact.
Electrochemical Society. Journal, 2015, Vol 162, Issue 4, p. 387-396