In this paper, 10-20% samaria-doped ceria (10 SDC and 20 SDC) electrolyte films were successfully prepared by a citrate sol-gel route combined with a sol suspension spray coating technique. The characterization and microstructure of the thin film were investigated by XRD and FE-SEM. The results show that the SDC film prepared was pure fluorite type nanocrystalline, homogenous and almost fully dense, as well as indicate the flexibility of adjustable SDC chemical compositions. Electrochemical performance of a single cell based on the thin 20 SDC film with thickness of 500 nm and La0.6Sr0.4Co 0.2Fe0.8O3-δ (LSCF) as cathode material was examined. The cell provided an OCV of 0.83 V at 600°C which was close to that of the thicker ceria cell (10 μm) and maximum power densities of 41, 90, 78, 32mWcm2 at 600, 700, 800 and 900°C, respectively. It was demonstrated that the thin SDC film less than several μm showed a good combination with the porous Ni-GDC anode substrate and good insulating ability for electrons migration at temperatures less than 700°C. The thin ceria electrolyte prepared was potential to use for the IT-SOFCs.