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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 479203, 8 pages
Research Article

Fabricating Pinhole-Free YSZ Sub-Microthin Films by Magnetron Sputtering for Micro-SOFCs

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA

Received 2 September 2010; Revised 19 October 2010; Accepted 2 November 2010

Academic Editor: Boniface Kokoh

Copyright © 2011 T. Hill and H. Huang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Submicron thin yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) films were prepared on a variety of substrates with different surface morphologies by magnetron sputtering followed by thermal oxidation. Pinholes were observed in the films deposited on nanoporous alumina substrates. Initial dense Y/Zr films developed nanocracks after thermal oxidation on smooth Si wafer substrates. At optimal sputtering and oxidation conditions, smooth and crack/pore-free films were achieved on Si wafer substrates. The thin YSZ films exhibited fully ionic conduction with ionic conductivities, and activation energy corroborated well with the values from commercial YSZ plates. The thin YSZ films can be utilized in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) for intermediate temperature operations.