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Femtosecond Laser-Induced Surface Modification of the Electrolyte in Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells

: Marquardt, T.; Hollmann, J.; Gimpel, T.; Schade, W.; Kabelac, S.

Volltext ()

Energies 13 (2020), Nr.24, Art. 6562, 22 S.
ISSN: 1996-1073
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer HHI ()

Electrolyte-supported solid oxide cells are often used for steam electrolysis. Advantages are high mechanical stability and a low degradation rate. The aim of this proof of concept study was to use a femtosecond laser to process the electrolyte of an electrolyte-supported solid oxide cell and evaluate the effect of this laser treatment on the electrochemical performance. The femtosecond laser treatment induces a macroscopic and a superimposed microscopic structure. It can be proven that the electrolyte remains gas tight and the electrochemical performance increases independently of the laser parameters. The initial area-specific resistance degradation during a constant current measurement of 200 h was reduced from 7.9% for a non-treated reference cell to 3.2% for one of the laser-treated cells. Based on electrochemical impedance measurements, it was found that the high frequency resistance of the laser-treated cells was reduced by up to 20% with respect to the reference cell. The impedance spectra were evaluated by calculating the distribution of relaxation times, and in advance, a novel approach was used to approximate the gas concentration resistance, which was related to the test setup and not to the cell. It was found that the low frequency polarization resistance was increased for the laser-treated cells. In total, the area-specific resistance of the laser-treated cells was reduced by up to 14%.