Provided are low-cost, mechanically strong, highly electronically conductive porous substrates and associated structures for solid-state electrochemical devices, techniques for forming these structures, and devices incorporating the structures. The invention provides solid state electrochemical device substrates of novel composition and techniques for forming thin electrode/membrane/electrolyte coatings on the novel or more conventional substrates. In particular, in one embodiment the invention provides techniques for co-firing of device substrate (often an electrode) with an electrolyte or membrane layer to form densified electrolyte/membrane films 5 to 20 microns thick. In another embodiment, densified electrolyte/membrane films 5 to 20 microns thick may be formed on a pre-sintered substrate by a constrained sintering process. In some cases, the substrate may be a porous metal, alloy, or non-nickel cermet incorporating one or more of the transition metals Cr, Fe, Cu and Ag, or alloys thereof.
This invention was made with government support in the course of or under prime contract No. DE-ACO3-76SF00098 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California. The government has certain rights in this invention.