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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Dr. Xiangyang Zhou - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Dr. Hongtan Liu - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Dr. Weihua Zhang - Outside Committee Member


One of the major trends of development of solid oxide fuel cells is to reduce the operating temperature from the high temperature range (>950°C) and intermediate temperature range (750-850°C) to the low temperature range (450-650°C). Development of low temperature oxygen ion conducting electrolytes is focused on single-phase materials including Bi2O3 and CeO2-based oxides. These materials have high ion conductivity at the low temperature range, but they are unstable in reducing environments and they are also electronic conductors. In the present research, three types of multiphase materials, Ce0.887Y0.113O1.9435 (CYO)-ZrO2, CYO- yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), and CuO-CYO were investigated. We found that the conductivity of multiphase electrolyte CuO-CYO with a mass ratio of 1:3 is at least 4 times greater than that of CYO and 10 times greater than that of YSZ, the most commonly used material, obtained in the present experiments at 600°C. The enhancement of conductivity in multiphase materials correlates with the level of mismatch between the two phases. Large mismatches in terms of valance and structure result in high vacancy density and hence high oxygen ion conductivity at grain boundaries. This study demonstrates that synthesis of multiphase ceramic materials is a feasible new avenue for development of oxygen ion electrolyte material for low temperature SOFCs.


Low Temperture; Electrolyte; SOFC