The oxygen tracer diffusion coefficient describing transport along nano-/microscaled YSZ/Sc2O3 multilayers as a function of the thickness of the ion-conducting YSZ layers has been measured by isotope exchange depth profiling (IEDP), using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). The multilayer samples were prepared by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) on (0001) Al2O3 single crystalline substrates. The values for the oxygen tracer diffusion coefficient were analyzed as a combination of contributions from bulk and interface contributions and compared with results from YSZ/Y2O3-multilayers with similar microstructure. Using the Nernst-Einstein equation as the relation between diffusivity and electrical conductivity we find very good agreement between conductivity and diffusion data, and we exclude substantial electronic conductivity in the multilayers. The effect of hetero-interface transport can be well explained by a simple interface strain model. As the multilayer samples consist of columnar film crystallites with a defined interface structure and texture, we also discuss the influence of this particular microstructure on the interfacial strain.
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