High-performance intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The SOFCs are ceria-based structures that can achieve a power output of 300 mW/cm.sup.2 at an operating temperature below 600.degree. C. By way of example, the fuel cell as an anode made of NiO/doped-ceria, a thin film of doped-ceria and/or doped zirconia electrolyte is deposited on the anode, and a cathode of cobalt iron based material, such as (La, Sr)(Co, Fe)O.sub.3 is deposited on top of the electrolyte, and can operate at a temperature of 550.degree. C. The various layers may be deposited by colloidal spray deposition or aerosol spray casting.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.