Development of scientific bases of tailor-made design of functionally graded nanocomposite cathode materials for both IT-SOFCs and PC-SOFCs (PROTON)

PROTON is a collaboration project involving five European partners. The aim of the project is to develop new cathode materials for intermediate temparature SOFCs and PC-SOFCs.


The project mission is to develop scientific bases of tailor-made design of universally functional nanocomposite cathode materials for both intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT SOFCs) and proton conductive solid oxide fuel cells (PC-SOCFs) on the basis of their integrated study and fabrication of single SOFC and PC-SOCF cells with high performance.

Basic research studies on preparation routes of the double perovskites Pr1-yLayBaCo2-xFexO6-d, Gd1-yLayBaCo2-xFexO6-d in wide composition range will be performed. Precise analysis of the materials properties is necessary in order to avoid a trial and error approach. In the PROTON project we are going to investigate oxide compositions and their morphology using X-ray (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive (EDA) analyses.
Measurement of overall and oxide ion conductivity of these oxides using four-probe DC method and polarization technique, respectively, depending on temperature and oxygen partial pressure and determination of the electron and oxide ion transport parameters such as charge carrier mobilities, oxide ion diffusion coefficients, activation energy etc. Investigation of oxygen nonstoichiometry of the double perovskites as a function of temperature and oxygen partial pressure by means of thermogravimetric (TGA) and coulometric analyses along with their defect structure. Calculation of oxide ion transport in the double perovskite using molecular dynamic simulation and comparison these results with those measured. Study of the crystal structure vs. temperature and oxygen partial pressure and determination of the oxides lattice thermal expansion using both X-ray and dilatometric analyses. Precise analysis of the oxide compositions and their morphology using XRD, SEM and EDX.
Investigation of thermal and chemical compatibility of the prepared cathodes with the different electrolytes. Preparation of binary combinations cathode/electrolyte and performance of test measurements such as polarization resistivity (Rp).


The results from PROTON's holistic approach will allow to find the best cathode materials and to prepare single cells of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and proton conductive electrolyte fuel cell (PC-SOFCs) in order to check their performance such as power, open circuit voltage etc. in test measurements under real conditions (as long as the time frame of the project allows).


PROTON is funded through the ERA.Net RUS project, which is funded under the 7th EU Research Framework Programme. Project number is 225103.


PROTON involves partners from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Greece, the Ural Federal University (UFU) in Russia, the Clausthal University of Technology (TUC) in Germany, the Ecole Central Paris (ECP) in France, and the University of Oslo in Norway.
Information about the project can also be found at the project homepage.

Tags: SOFC, PC-SOFC, Nanotechnology, nanocomposite cathode materials
Published May 29, 2013 3:52 PM - Last modified Oct. 31, 2018 3:49 PM


Project leader:

Professor Truls Norby

+47 22840654

Administrative Officer:

Xuemei Cui
+47 22 84 06 64

Gaustadalleen 21
NO-0349 Oslo
Phone: +47 22840664