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Institute of Energy and Climate Research

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Materials synthesis

The synthesis of new materials for solid oxide fuel cells, thermal barrier coatings, gas separation membranes, and batteries is performed, for example, through spray pyrolysis and spray drying (aqueous and alcohol-based systems) for powder quantities over approx. 100 grams. Smaller amounts are usually fabricated using the Pechini method or modifications of this method. In addition, sols are synthesized for thin-film applications.

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs)

For SOFCs, mainly cathode contact layer materials are synthesized. Examples include lanthanum strontium manganate (LSM), lathanum strontium cobaltite ferrite (LSCF) and perovskite contact layers. The sols used are based on zirconium oxide and cerium oxide.

Thermal barrier coatings

New thermal barrier coating materials such as pyrochlore, perovskites, and aluminates are typically standardized by means of solid-state reactions. Pressureless or pressure-assisted sintering techniques are used to fabricate dense test pieces on which thermophysical properties are measured. In order to process the materials by means of thermal spraying techniques, the synthesized powders are processed into pourable granulated metal using spray drying processes.

Gas separation membranes

For oxygen ion conductors and hydrogen ion conductors, for the most part materials with perovskite structure or fluorite structure are used. In addition to ionic conductivity, these materials must also demonstrate electronic conductivity. For molecular sieve membranes and intermediate layers of the membranes, oxides such as SiO2 or ZrO2 are primarily used.