High proton conduction in grain-boundary-free yttrium-doped barium zirconate films grown by pulsed laser deposition

Daniele Pergolesi, Emiliana Fabbri, Alessandra D'Epifanio, Elisabetta Di Bartolomeo, Antonello Tebano, Simone Sanna, Silvia Licoccia, Giuseppe Balestrino, Enrico Traversa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

460 Scopus citations


Reducing the operating temperature in the 500-750°C range is needed for widespread use of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Proton-conducting oxides are gaining wide interest as electrolyte materials for this aim. We report the fabrication of BaZr0.8Y0.2O3-δ (BZY) proton-conducting electrolyte thin films by pulsed laser deposition on different single-crystalline substrates. Highly textured, epitaxially oriented BZY films were obtained on (100)-oriented MgO substrates, showing the largest proton conductivity ever reported for BZY samples, being 0.11 S cm-1 at 500°C. The excellent crystalline quality of BZY films allowed for the first time the experimental measurement of the large BZY bulk conductivity above 300°C, expected in the absence of blocking grain boundaries. The measured proton conductivity is also significantly larger than the conductivity values of oxygen-ion conductors in the same temperature range, opening new potential for the development of miniaturized SOFCs for portable power supply.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-852
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly supported by the Ministry of University and Research (MiUR) of Italy under the frame of the FISR project ‘Polymer and Ceramic Electrolyte for Fuel Cells: System Validation and Development of New Materials’, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) of Italy under the frame of the Italy-USA Joint Laboratory on ‘Nanomaterials for Hydrogen and Sustainable Energy’, and by the World Premier International Research Center Initiative of MEXT, Japan. The authors would like to thank A. Chincarini for his helpful contribution for X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis, and D. Marrè and E. Bellingeri for clarifying discussions and comments.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'High proton conduction in grain-boundary-free yttrium-doped barium zirconate films grown by pulsed laser deposition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this