Journal of Advanced Ceramics

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 325–335 | Cite as

Densification behavior of yttria-stabilized zirconia powders for solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes

  • Dhruba Panthi
  • Nader Hedayat
  • Yanhai DuEmail author
Open Access
Research Article


Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is the most common electrolyte material for solid oxide fuel cells. Herein, we conducted a comparative study on the densification behavior of three different kinds of commercial 8 mol% YSZ powders: (i) TZ-8Y (Tosoh, Japan), (ii) MELox 8Y (MEL Chemicals, UK), and (iii) YSZ-HT (Huatsing Power, China). The comparison was made on both the self-supporting pellets and thin-film electrolytes coated onto a NiO–YSZ anode support. For the pellets, MELox 8Y showed the highest densification at lower sintering temperatures with 93% and 96% of the theoretical density at 1250 and 1300 °C, respectively. Although YSZ-HT showed a higher sintering rate than TZ-8Y, a sintering temperature of 1350 °C was required for both the powders to reach 95% of the theoretical density. For the thin-film electrolytes, on the other hand, YSZ-HT showed the highest sintering rate with a dense microstructure at a co-sintering temperature of 1250 °C. Our results indicate that besides the average particle size, other factors such as particle size distribution and post-processing play a significant role in determining the sintering rate and densification behavior of the YSZ powders. Additionally, a close match in the sintering shrinkage of the electrolyte and anode support is important for facilitating the densification of the thin-film electrolytes.


yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) SOFC electrolyte densification shrinkage co-sintering 



This work was partially supported by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through Contract No. NNX15CC12C. The authors are grateful to Professor Min-Fang Han at Tsinghua University for providing the YSZ-HT powder and MEL Chemicals for providing the MELox 8Y powder. The authors would like to thank Professor Kevin Huang and Mr. Tianrang Yang at University of South Carolina and Dr. Wenxia Li at Zircoa, Inc. for their insightful discussions and help. The SEM micrographs were obtained at the SEM lab of the Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI) Characterization Facility, Kent State University.


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© The Author(s) 2018

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Aeronautics and EngineeringKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Department of Engineering TechnologyKent State University at TuscarawasOhioUSA

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