• simultaneous thermal analysis;
  • thin film deposition mechanism;
  • porosity;
  • oxygen ion and proton conductivity;
  • yttria stabilized zirconia electrolyte


Microstructures of yttria stabilized zirconia thin films deposited by aerosol assisted chemical vapor deposition (AA-CVD) are correlated with the thermal decomposition behavior of the corresponding metal precursors, zirconium and yttrium 2,4-pentanedionate. Process conditions of AA-CVD are investigated with the aim of producing dense and compact YSZ thin films for applications as gas-tight electrolyte. Based on systematic cross sectional scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) investigations and conductivity measurements, the development of percolating nanoporosity is observed in samples prepared at temperatures between 350 °C and 600 °C at standard solution throughput. Compact columnar thin films with bulk conductivity are obtained at 600 °C by reducing the metal content of the precursor solution and at 450 °C by reducing the solution throughput.