Interface Effects on the Ionic Conductivity of Doped Ceria-Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Heterostructures

Daniele Pergolesi, Elisa Gilardi, Emiliana Fabbri, Vladimir Roddatis, George F. Harrington, Thomas Lippert, John A. Kilner, Enrico Traversa

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23 Citations (SciVal)


Multilayered heterostructures of Ce0.85Sm0.15O2-δ and Y0.16Zr0.92O2-δ of a high crystallographic quality were fabricated on (001)-oriented MgO single crystal substrates. Keeping the total thickness of the heterostructures constant, the number of ceria-zirconia bilayers was increased while reducing the thickness of each layer. At each interface Ce was found primarily in the reduced, 3+ oxidation state in a layer extending about 2 nm from the interface. Concurrently, the conductivity decreased as the thickness of the layers was reduced, suggesting a progressive confinement of the charge transport along the YSZ layers. The comparative analysis of the in-plane electrical characterization suggests that the contribution to the total electrical conductivity of these interfacial regions is negligible. For the smallest layer thickness of 2 nm the doped ceria layers are electrically insulating and the ionic transport only occurs through the zirconia layers. This is explained in terms of a reduced mobility of the oxygen vacancies in the highly reduced ceria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14160-14169
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
*E-mail: [email protected]. ORCID Daniele Pergolesi: 0000-0002-6231-0237 Elisa Gilardi: 0000-0002-8831-0104 Emiliana Fabbri: 0000-0002-8627-6926 Funding This research was supported by the NCCR MARVEL, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This research is also supported by the SFB 1073 via Z02 project. Notes The authors declare no competing financial interest.


  • ceria
  • fuel cells
  • heterostructures
  • interfaces
  • thin films
  • zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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