Intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells include in their design a solid electrolyte layer, usually made of yttria-stabilized zirconia, that acts as an ionic conductor through which oxygen ions diffuse. This layer must be as thin as possible to limit ohmic losses yet have a low leakage rate corresponding to a low level of connected stacking defects such as microcracks. Suspension plasma spraying (SPS) appears to be a viable method for manufacturing such layers and is used in this study to produce gastight coatings that with further improvements may meet the requirements of SOFCs. The paper describes the setup and optimization of the SPS process and the methods used to evaluate the solid electrolyte layers.

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