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Keywords:

  • La0.6Sr0.4CoO3-δ;
  • perovskites;
  • sol-gels;
  • solid oxide fuel cells;
  • transmission electron microscopy;
  • energy storage

Abstract

Nanocrystalline La1-xSrxCoO3-δ (LSC) thin films with a nominal Sr-content of x = 0.4 were deposited on Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95 electrolyte substrates using a low temperature sol-gel process. The structural and chemical properties of the LSC thin films were studied after thermal treatment, which included a calcination step and a variable, extended annealing time at 700 °C or 800 °C. Transmission electron microscopy combined with selected-area electron diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry, and scanning transmission electron microscopy tomography was applied for the investigation of grain size, porosity, microstructure, and analysis of the local chemical composition and element distribution on the nanoscale. The area specific resistance (ASR) values of the thin film LSC cathodes, which include the lowest ASR value reported so far (ASRchem = 0.023 Ωcm2 at 600 °C) can be interpreted on the basis of the structural and chemical characterization.