Evidence of the Current Collector Effect: Study of the SOFC Cathode Material Ca3Co4O9+d

A. Rolle, V. Thoréton, P. Rozier, E. Capoen, O. Mentré, Bernard A. Boukamp, S. Daviero-Minaud

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In the study of the performance of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) electrodes, the possible influence of the applied current collector is often not mentioned or recognized. In this article, as part of an optimization study of the potentially attractive Ca3Co4O9+δ cathode material (Ca349), special attention is paid to the choice of current collector. The influence of both gold and platinum paste or grid current collectors on pure and composite (Ca349 + 30 wt.% Gd-doped ceria) is studied, using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Although, platinum is catalytically active in the oxygen reduction reaction and then is often considered as current collector for SOFC cathodes, in combination with Ca349 cathodes, additional low frequency dispersion is observed, leading to a larger polarization resistance than found in the case of gold current collectors. A subsequent experiment revealed that Pt reacts with Ca349, forming undesirable phases: CaPt2O4, Ca4PtO6, Ca3Co2O6, and Co3O4. The impedance spectra were analyzed with ZView 3.3a and with EqCwin v1.2. One series equivalent circuit was deduced using ZView, whereas, two possible equivalent circuits (series and nested), leading to the same quality of fits, were evidenced in EqCwin. The circuits are closely related to interactions of the current collector and layer thickness effects of the cathodes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-301
Number of pages14
JournalFuel cells
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-288505
  • IR-81884


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