Tuesday, August 15, 2006

US Patent 7090891 - Fabrication of Fuel Cells Using Nanostructured Material

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are currently proposed as an alternative for power plants. Traditional SOFCs require high operating temperatures (~1000 C) which limits the number of possible materials usable to make the SOFCs. This patent proposes using nanostructured cerium dioxide and copper oxide in the fabrication of SOFCs to reduce the operating temperature and ultimately reduce the cost of manufacturing and operating SOFCs. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of fabricating a solid oxide fuel cell comprising: dispersing ceria and doped ceria nanoparticles in a first colloidal solution; atomizing the first colloidal solution into a spray; depositing the spray onto a substrate to form a thin film interfacial layer having a thickness in the range of 100 nm to 10 microns; and forming an anode from a nanocomposite of ceria and CuO at low temperature over the interfacial layer.