In this study the electrical properties of thin films of Ysubstituted zirconia were investigated. The films were prepared using a polymer precursor technique and investigated in the temperature region 250 to 900°C. It was shown, that impedance spectroscopy (IS) and direct current (DC) conductivity measurements results are in good agreement for the films measured in plane for temperatures greater than 400°C. Due to the high resistance resulting from a planar geometry, the DC measurements were found preferable at temperatures <600°C.
Since in planar geometry the films represent a high resistance to the measurement circuit, it is important to minimize sources of electrical leakage, so different sample holders and substrates were investigated. A sapphire substrate and sample holder design using separated alumina single bore tubing for each electrode provided the lowest electrical leakage.
The experimental results showed that electrical behavior of all of the films produced at low annealing temperatures (less than 400°C) was similar regardless of Y content. These films have relatively low conductivity and an activation energy of about 1.5eV. The influence of different Y content started to appear after annealing above 600°C.
The results of the film conductivity measurements were compared with those for the bulk samples of Y stabilized zirconia prepared from 200nm powder by tape casting. These samples were measured by IS in plane and through the tape. It was shown that electrical properties of bulk and thin film material were similar.