We have investigated the property of a Fe-Cr-Al-type stainless steel as a porous alloy substrate for metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) especially on the cathode side. We found that the microstructure and electrical resistance of the surface oxide layer of the alloy changes depending on the heat-treatment conditions. A relatively low electrical resistance was obtained when the porous alloy substrate was coated with La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3 (LSCF) and heat treated at 700-800 °C in air. The morphology of the surface oxide layer observed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy was a columnar structure of γ-Al2O3 polycrystal and Sr3Al2O6 growing outward in the same direction. In contrast, the surface oxide layer of the alloy showed a high electrical resistance when the uncoated porous alloy substrate was heat treated. The morphology of the surface oxide layer in that case was a columnar structure consisting of only γ-Al2O3 growing outward in various directions.
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