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Advisory Committee Chair

Renato P Camata

Advisory Committee Members

S Aaron Catledge

Mary E Zvanut

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2016

Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Ceramic materials have historically been of interest for their thermal and mechanical properties. However, certain ceramic materials can have very interesting electrical, magnetic and optical properties, leading to a new subclass, the electroceramics. Perovskites, in particular, have become the subject of intense research in this field. Specifically, doped barium zirconates have shown high proton conductivity in the intermediate temperature range (600 – 800°C), making them advantageous for use in solid oxide fuel cells. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy into electricity using ion-conducting oxide ceramics as electrolytes. The anode component of the cell is also of interest. Cermets or ceramic metals can serve a dual role as substrates for thin film electrolytes and anodes in the cell. Thin films of gadolinium and ytterbium doped barium zirconate were deposited using pulsed laser deposition (KrF; 1-3 J/cm2) on several substrates, including cermets developed in our lab, in a 10 - 400 mTorr oxygen environment with various substrate temperatures. Crystalline structure and chemical composition was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive x-ray analysis, respectively. Preliminary electrical measurements of the electrolyte/ cermet structure were taken using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

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