Prof. Dr. Suk Won Cha

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Seoul National University, South Korea.

Since 2005, Prof. Suk Won Cha has been an assistant, associate and full professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Seoul National University. He served as the Associate Dean at the College of Engineering from 2013 to 2015 and the Associate Dean of Office of International Affairs at Seoul National University from 2019 to 2021. He is currently the President of Advanced Institute of Convergence Technology at Seoul National University.

Prof. Cha studied engineering at Seoul National University for B.S. degree and at Stanford University for M.S. and Ph.D. degree. For the past decades, Prof. Cha investigated advanced electrochemical cells from materials to system level. He pioneered innovative vacuum fabrication process for electrolyte/electrode materials, optimal energy management strategy of such systems, publishing more than two hundred papers. Also, Prof. Cha is well-recognized as a co-author of “Fuel Cell Fundamentals (Wiley and Sons)” – the world-wide bestseller in fuel cells research. 

Prof. Cha served as an organizer, committee and board member of numerous conferences such as World Chemistry Congress (IUPAC), and International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition, Asian Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Symposium and Exhibition, Thin Films Meetings and so on. Currently, Prof. Cha serves as a vice president of Thin Films Society, an editor of International Journal of Automotive Technology and also the editor-in-chief of International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing – Green Technology.

As a recognition of his contribution to academic society, Prof. Cha is the recipient of several awards including Fuel Cells Research Award from The Korean Electrochemical Society, Academic Excellence Award from The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers, Highly Commended Paper of the Year from International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing – Green Technology and Springer Award for Most Cited Author of the Year from International Journal of Automotive Technology.

Speech detail

Fabrication of Thin Film Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Low Temperature Operation by Physical Vapor Deposition

Various thin film processes have a great potential on material fabrications in solid oxide cells. Crystalline thin films improve the performance of solid oxide cells and reduces the electrochemical overvoltage. Thin film electrolyte, for example, can reduce ionic conductivity; thin film catalyst of highly ordered nanostructure improves catalytic activity; and the ordered pore structure in thin films facilitates gas diffusion. In this paper, we report the use of physical vapor deposition (PVD) to fabricate such structures – cermet anode, fluorite electrolyte, and perovskite cathode. Layers of these films form a successful solid oxide fuel cell.

As a representative thin film process, we explain the use of co-sputtering method to achieve such goals. This method realized the complex thin film structure required for each fuel cell component at the nano level and enabled the use of four to seven types of multi-component materials at the same time. Our research group has developed these processes to control the key physical properties such as crystallinity, density, pore structure and stoichiometry. A successfully fabricated cell demonstrates one of the best performances in terms of power density. Specifically, we present two of the most recent applications: A reversible solid oxide fuel cell with a crystalline YSZ electrolyte and LSCF-GDC oxygen electrode for oxygen evolution reaction, and a multiscale metal-supported thin film solid oxide fuel cells developed by a simple and low-temperature deposition processes. Both applications exhibit one of the best performances in terms of power density near 500 degree Celsius.