Laser processing of ceramic materials for electrochemical and high temperature energy applications

Boletin de la Sociedad Espanola de Ceramica y Vidrio (In press) R.I. Merino, Miguel A. Laguna-Bercero, Ruth Lahoz, Ángel Larrea,Patricia B. Oliete, Alodia Orera, José I. Peña, María Luisa Sanjuán, Daniel Sola

The laser is a powerful tool for materials processing, incorporated already in many industrialprocesses and laboratory procedures. In this work, we are concerned with laser processingapplied to research and development of ceramics for electrochemical cells and other hightemperature oxide ceramics for energy applications. Solidification of single crystals or com-posites of relevant oxides can be performed by the laser assisted floating zone method,providing samples for structural, mechanical or functional fundamental research, as wellas knowledge about its manufacture by melt processes. Selective laser melting of theseceramic oxides is a very promising technology, at the research level. Successful examples ofsurface laser melting of oxide eutectic composites are presented. The technologies of sub-tractive laser processing of ceramics (cutting, drilling, structuring, cleaning, etc.) are moredeveloped, and the research is directed towards the optimization of mechanisms, increaseof resolution and efficiency and the investigation of the effects of the laser treatment onthe functional performance. Different laser processes of SOC (solid oxide cell) componentsare shown to decrease the ohmic, concentration and activation losses. The manuscriptdescribes the state-of-the art of the technologies as applied to oxide and composite materi-als present in solid oxide electrochemical devices (SOFC, SOEC, and batteries) and selectiveemitters for thermophotovoltaics, with emphasis on the last achievements by the authorsteam.