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Research Article | Open Access

Additive manufacturing of thin electrolyte layers via inkjet printing of highly-stable ceramic inks

Zhongqi ZHUZhiyuan GONGPiao QUZiyong LISefiu Abolaji RASAKIZhiyuan LIUPei WANGChangyong LIUChangshi LAOZhangwei CHEN( )
Additive Manufacturing Institute, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
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Inkjet printing is a promising alternative for the fabrication of thin film components for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) due to its contactless, mask free, and controllable printing process. In order to obtain satisfying electrolyte thin layer structures in anode-supported SOFCs, the preparation of suitable electrolyte ceramic inks is a key. At present, such a kind of 8 mol% Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 (8YSZ) electrolyte ceramic ink with long-term stability and high solid loading (> 15 wt%) seems rare for precise inkjet printing, and a number of characterization and performance aspects of the inks, such as homogeneity, viscosity, and printability, should be studied. In this study, 8YSZ ceramic inks of varied compositions were developed for inkjet printing of SOFC ceramic electrolyte layers. The dispersing effect of two types of dispersants, i.e., polyacrylic acid ammonium (PAANH4) and polyacrylic acid (PAA), were compared. The results show that ultrasonic dispersion treatment can help effectively disperse the ceramic particles in the inks. PAANH4 has a better dispersion effect for the inks developed in this study. The inks show excellent printable performance in the actual printing process. The stability of the ink can be maintained for a storage period of over 30 days with the help of initial ultrasonic dispersion. Finally, micron-size thin 8YSZ electrolyte films were successfully fabricated through inkjet printing and sintering, based on the as-developed high solid loading 8YSZ inks (20 wt%). The films show fully dense and intact structural morphology and smooth interfacial bonding, offering an improved structural quality of electrolyte for enhanced SOFC performance.


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Journal of Advanced Ceramics
Pages 279-290
Cite this article:
ZHU Z, GONG Z, QU P, et al. Additive manufacturing of thin electrolyte layers via inkjet printing of highly-stable ceramic inks. Journal of Advanced Ceramics, 2021, 10(2): 279-290.








Web of Science






Received: 17 July 2020
Revised: 28 October 2020
Accepted: 10 November 2020
Published: 10 February 2021
© The Author(s) 2020

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