A novel miniaturised heated stage for in operando optical measurements on solid oxide fuel cell electrode surfaces is described. The design combines the advantages of previously reported designs, namely, (i) fully controllable dual atmosphere operation enabling fuel cell pellets to be tested in operando with either electrode in any atmosphere being the focus of study, and (ii) combined electrochemical measurements with optical spectroscopy measurements with the potential for highly detailed study of electrochemical processes; with the following advances, (iii) integrated fitting for mounting on a mapping stage enabling 2-D spatial characterisation of the surface, (iv) a compact profile that is externally cooled, enabling operation on an existing microscope without the need for specialized lenses, (v) the ability to cool very rapidly, from 600 °C to 300 °C in less than 5 min without damaging the experimental apparatus, and (vi) the ability to accommodate a range of pellet sizes and thicknesses.

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