Field assisted sintering of rare earth doped ceria


Due to its mixed ionic and electronic conductivity (MIEC), rare earth doped ceria (REDC) represents a promising class of materials for electrochemical devices like solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) or solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs). To tailor the electrochemical properties of REDC, exact control of material synthesis and processing conditions is strictly required.

The field assisted sintering technology/spark plasma sintering (FAST/SPS) is an innovative technology, which offers the potential to tailor the microstructure and final properties of REDC. Furthermore, it is an economical process since the energy demand and duration of the sintering cycle can be significantly reduced compared to conventional sintering. Amongst others, the electronic conductivity makes REDC a promising candidate for successful application of FAST/SPS due to the direct heating of the ceramic by the Joule effect. Up to now, less information can be found in literature on FAST/SPS of REDC, which – to our knowledge – is caused by the fact that the material tends to severe crack formation, if processed under standard FAST/SPS conditions using graphite dies and Argon atmosphere. To overcome this restriction, our research concept deals with the following challenges:

i.Atmosphere control in the FAST/SPS device
ii.Control of the heating and – much more important – cooling rates during the FAST/SPS cycle
iii.Control of the electrical current with regard to the temperature dependent semi conduction of REDC
iv.Understanding and control of the chemical interaction between REDC and the tool material
v.Numerical simulation to reduce the experimental effort and to deepen the general understanding of sintering of MIEC ceramics activated by an electric field

Contact person(s)

Prof. Dr. Christoph Broeckmann

PD Dr. Martin Bram

RWTH Aachen University

Institute for Materials Applications in Mechanical Engineering

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Institute of Energy and Climate Research

IEK-1: Materials Synthesis and Processing

Augustinerbach 4

52062 Aachen


52428 Jülich

Tel: (+49) 241 80 94321

Tel: (+49) 2461 61 6858

Fax: (+49) 241 80 92266

Fax: (+49) 2461 61 2455

Proj.-Nr. BR 1844/21-1

Proj.-Nr. BR 3418/1-1

Last Modified: 12.09.2022