A Novel Approach to Engineer the Microstructure of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell materials



A novel and cost-effective process to accurately control the design of 3D structures of SOFC materials is proposed. A master mould is fabricated from a rubber-based material. Metallic meshes are used to transfer any type of patterns to the rubber-based material. The reusable master mould can then be filled with a slurry of inorganic materials made of single or complex oxides and other organic components commonly used in tape-casting technology. After drying at room temperature, the master-mould can be easily peeled-off and then a slow thermal process allows obtaining a sintered material with precisely controlled features such as the size and distribution of the pore holes in the structure, the thickness of the electrode and electrolyte layers, type of patterning, etc. The potential advantages of micro- and nanoengineering of materials for energy applications are also discussed.