During the operation of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) the Ni base anode and/or Ni-mesh is in direct contact with the ferritic steel interconnect or the metallic substrate. For assuring long-term stack operation a diffusion barrier layer with high electronic conductivity may be needed to impede interdiffusion between the various components. A pre-oxidation layer on the ferritic steel turned out to be not viable as a barrier layer since a Ni-layer tends to dissociate the oxide scale. Therefore the potential of ceria as a diffusion barrier layer for the anode side of the SOFC was estimated. The barrier properties of a ceria coating between the Ni and the ferritic steel Crofer 22 APU were tested for 1000 h in at . Conductivity experiments were performed in the same atmosphere at different temperatures. After long-term exposures no indication of interdiffusion between Ni and ferritic steel could be detected, however, sputtered coatings on ferritic steel substrates showed significantly lower conductivities than bulk ceria samples because of void formation between the ceria and the oxide on the steel surface. The latter could be prevented by an intermediate copper layer, which resulted in overall area specific resistance values lower than after 100 h exposure at .