Solid Oxide Fuel Cells are electrochemical devices that can directly convert chemical into electrical energy and also operate in reverse mode as electrolysers, e.g. to store chemical fuels. We focus in particular on micro-Solid Oxide Fuel Cells on chip which are miniaturized thin film-based cells where all active compounds, electrodes and electrolyte, form a free-standing membrane on a Si-chip separating the fuel from the air supply. Despite short history of this new device class first comercial cells are on the market to replace batteries for portable electronics or as grid-independent chargers. We target in particular to a fundamental understanding of the electro-chemomechanics in these cells, namely the interaction of ionic charge transport "electro", oxygen non-stoichiometry "chemical" and membrane strain "mechanics" interaction. Besides innovative routes to gain high surface reactive site electrodes and micro-fuel cell making and testing in hydro-carbon fuels is studied to suggest most efficient and direct operation on the latter fuels.
Formally: Dr. Markus Kubicek, Dr. Iñigo Gabayo, Dr. Yanuo Shi