In this paper we discuss challenges in predicting performance of real electrodes from studies on model systems. We shall compare trends observed on dense thin films of LSC (La0.5Sr0.5CoO3), LSCF (La0.58Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ) and LSF (La0.6Sr0.4FeO3) with trends observed when these materials are used in porous composites. Also a model study of a multi-phase nano-structured electrode, prepared by infiltrating a porous CGO backbone structure with “LSC” will be presented, and it is shown that performance can be well accounted for when assuming exchange properties as deduced from LSC in bulk form.
Finally, recent results obtained on two other types of simplified model electrode systems are presented. The first one is based on a dense composite of two phases (Fig. 1, A and B) and in the second type a mixed conducting material is studied with and without second phase surface decorations (Fig. 1, D). In both cases, the oxygen exchange is studied using conductivity relaxation (Fig. 1, C). The advantage of these geometries are that they are simpler than the real electrodes, e.g. the TPP can be accurately assessed, and the manufacturing route in many respects lies closer to the one applied on technological electrodes than does the ones typically applied when making ultra-thin films.
On a LSF/CGO (La0.6Sr0.4)0.98FeO3-Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95) composite system with different volume ratios between the two phases (0%, 30 %, 50 %, 70 % CGO) we find that the relaxation time for re-equilibrating the oxygen stoichiometry in the sample after a sudden change in oxygen activity reduces strongly the more CGO is added. This is not only an effect of the increased ionic conductivity in the composite (CGO has a higher ionic conductivity than LSF) but also the surface exchange rate is increased (by up to a factor of 25) relative to the one of the pure LSF sample. Effects of adding small amounts of second phase decorations on the surface on both the composites and the LSF end-member were studied. Results are compared to recent findings in literature  and the underlying mechanisms for the increased surface exchange rates are discussed.
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