Plasma Sprayed Diffusion Barrier Layers Based on Doped Perovskite-Type LaCrO3 at Substrate-Anode Interface in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Thomas Franco*, Z. HoshiarDin, P. Szabo, M. Lang, G. Schiller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In the thin-film solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) concept of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart, the entire membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is deposited onto a porous metallic substrate by an integrated multistep vacuum plasma spray (VPS) process. This concept enables the production of very thin and stable electrodes and electrolyte layers with a total cell thickness of only 100-120/μm. In this concept, the porous ferrite substrate material predominantly acts as mechanical cell support and as fuel gas distributor. In general, ferrite substrate alloys with high chromium and low manganese content show both excellent corrosion stability and adequate thermal expansion behavior. Nevertheless, at the high process temperature in the SOFC of ∼800 °C, atomic transport processes can show a detrimental effect on cell performance, at least at the required long-term operation. Problems arise, in particular, through diffusion processes of Fe-, Cr-, and Ni-species between the Ni/8YSZ anode and the ferrite steel-based substrate material. This can induce significant structure changes both in the anode and the substrate. As a reliable solution of this key problem, a plasma sprayed thin diffusion barrier layer is seen at the interface between anode and substrate, which consists of an electrically conductive and chemically stable ceramic component. For this purpose, some doped perovskite-type LaCrO3, such as La1-xSrxCrO3-δ La1-x Cax CrO3-δ or La1-x SrxCr1-yCoyO3-δ were investigated and tested carefully at DLR. These types of perovskites show a high potential to fulfill all the required properties that are needed for the applicability as an anode-side diffusion barrier layer. The paper focuses on basic investigations of differently doped LaCrO3 compounds under SOFC-relevant conditions concerning thermal expansion, electrical conductivity, chemical stability, etc. Furthermore, first results of electrically and electrochemically characterized hall cells carried out with some qualified doped LaCrO3 are shown. Finally, the diffusion barrier layer is demonstrated as a new SOFC component that is effective at cell operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • chromium compounds
  • diffusion barriers
  • electrochemical electrodes
  • ferrites
  • lanthanum compounds
  • plasma arc spraying
  • solid oxide fuel cells
  • substrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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