Preparation and Characterization of NiO/YSZ and Ni/YSZ Porous Composite Electrodes Synthesized via Glycine-Nitrate Combustion Process

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Electrode materials require a good porosity and a fine microstructure in order to maximize the triple phase boundary between the electronic conductor, ionic conductor and the gases involved in the reaction. In this study, NiO/YSZ composite, one of the most desired candidates as a cathode material for solid oxide electrolysis cells, was synthesized via glycine-nitrate combustion process. The composite powder was mixed with carbon black pore former in order to increase the porosity of NiO/YSZ. The samples were sintered at 1300 °C and subsequently reduced. X-ray diffraction patterns of the as-reduced samples confirm the transformation of NiO to Ni phase. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) images were able to confirm the reduction of NiO to Ni. From the results of the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis, the total conductivity of Ni/YSZ at 700 °C were about 1.37 × 10-1 and 1.12 × 10-1 S/cm for the unmodified and carbon black-modified samples, respectively.