Improving and degrading the oxygen exchange kinetics of La0.6Sr0.4CoO3−δ by Sr decoration

Matthäus Siebenhofer, Christoph Riedl, Andreas Nenning, Werner Artner, Christoph Rameshan, Alexander Karl Opitz, Jürgen Fleig, Markus Kubicek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Minimizing the overpotential at the air electrode of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) is one of the key challenges regarding a broad applicability of this technology. Next to novel materials and geometry optimization, surface modification is a promising and flexible method to alter the oxygen exchange kinetics at SOFC cathode surfaces. Despite extensive research, the mechanism behind the effect of surface decorations is still under debate. Moreover, for Sr decoration, previous studies yielded conflicting results, reporting either a beneficial or a detrimental impact on the oxygen exchange kinetics. In this contribution, in situ impedance spectroscopy during pulsed laser deposition was used to investigate the effect of Sr containing decorations under different deposition conditions. Depending on deposition temperature and interactions with the gas phase, opposing effects of Sr decoration were found. In combination with near-ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and non-ambient X-ray diffractometry, it was possible to trace this phenomenon back to different chemical environments of the surface Sr. At high temperatures, Sr is deposited as SrO, which can have a beneficial effect on the oxygen exchange kinetics. At low temperatures, SrCO3 adsorbates are formed from trace amounts of CO2 in the measurement atmosphere, causing a decrease of the oxygen exchange rate. These results are in excellent agreement with the concept of surface acidity as a descriptor for the effect of surface decorations, providing further insight into the oxygen exchange kinetics on SOFC cathode surfaces and its degradation. In addition, this study shows that Sr segregation itself initially does not lead to performance degradation but that segregated SrO readily reacts with acidic compounds, reducing the catalytic capability of mixed conducting oxides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12827-12836
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2023

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