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Nb-doped SrFeO3−δ (SFO) is used as a cathode in proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells (H-SOFCs). First-principles calculations show that the SrFe0.9Nb0.1O3−δ (SFNO) cathode has a lower energy barrier in the cathode reaction for H-SOFCs than the Nb-free SrFeO3−δ cathode. Subsequent experimental studies show that Nb doping substantially enhances the performance of the SrFeO3−δ cathode. Then, oxygen vacancies (VO) were introduced into SFNO using the microwave sintering method, further improving the performance of the SFNO cathode. The mechanism behind the performance improvement owing to VO was revealed using first-principles calculations, with further optimization of the SFNO cathode achieved by developing a suitable wet chemical synthesis route to prepare nanosized SFNO materials. This method significantly reduces the grain size of SFNO compared with the conventional solid-state reaction method, although the solid-state reaction method is generally used for preparing Nb-containing oxides. As a result of defect engineering and synthesis approaches, the SFNO cathode achieved an attractive fuel cell performance, attaining an output of 1764 mW·cm−2 at 700 °C and operating for more than 200 h. The manipulation of Nb-doped SrFeO3−δ can be seen as a “one stone, two birds” strategy, enhancing cathode performance while retaining good stability, thus providing an interesting approach for constructing high-performance cathodes for H-SOFCs.


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Manipulating Nb-doped SrFeO3−δ with excellent performance for proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells

Show Author's information Hailu Dai1Hongzhe Du1Samir Boulfrad2Shoufu Yu3Lei Bi3( )Qinfang Zhang1( )
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Yancheng Institute of Technology, Yancheng 224051, China
College of Science & Engineering, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha 34110, Qatar
School of Resource Environment and Safety Engineering, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, China

Abstract

Nb-doped SrFeO3−δ (SFO) is used as a cathode in proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells (H-SOFCs). First-principles calculations show that the SrFe0.9Nb0.1O3−δ (SFNO) cathode has a lower energy barrier in the cathode reaction for H-SOFCs than the Nb-free SrFeO3−δ cathode. Subsequent experimental studies show that Nb doping substantially enhances the performance of the SrFeO3−δ cathode. Then, oxygen vacancies (VO) were introduced into SFNO using the microwave sintering method, further improving the performance of the SFNO cathode. The mechanism behind the performance improvement owing to VO was revealed using first-principles calculations, with further optimization of the SFNO cathode achieved by developing a suitable wet chemical synthesis route to prepare nanosized SFNO materials. This method significantly reduces the grain size of SFNO compared with the conventional solid-state reaction method, although the solid-state reaction method is generally used for preparing Nb-containing oxides. As a result of defect engineering and synthesis approaches, the SFNO cathode achieved an attractive fuel cell performance, attaining an output of 1764 mW·cm−2 at 700 °C and operating for more than 200 h. The manipulation of Nb-doped SrFeO3−δ can be seen as a “one stone, two birds” strategy, enhancing cathode performance while retaining good stability, thus providing an interesting approach for constructing high-performance cathodes for H-SOFCs.

Keywords: cathode, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), proton conductor, SrFeO3−δ (SFO)

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Received: 08 January 2024
Revised: 04 March 2024
Accepted: 18 March 2024
Published: 28 May 2024
Issue date: May 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 52302314 and 12274361).

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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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