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Arrays of Microscale Linear Ridges with Self-Cleaning Functionality for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction

  • Audrey K. Taylor
    Audrey K. Taylor
    Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
  • Tiffany Mou
    Tiffany Mou
    Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
    More by Tiffany Mou
  • Ana Sonea
    Ana Sonea
    Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
    More by Ana Sonea
  • Jiayue Chen
    Jiayue Chen
    Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
    More by Jiayue Chen
  • Brenden B. Yee
    Brenden B. Yee
    Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
  • , and 
  • Byron D. Gates*
    Byron D. Gates
    Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
    *Email: [email protected]. Tel: (778) 782-8066. Fax: (778) 782-3765.
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 13, 2, 2399–2413
Publication Date (Web):January 6, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c15240
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Gas management during electrocatalytic water splitting is vital for improving the efficiency of clean hydrogen production. The accumulation of gas bubbles on electrode surfaces prevents electrolyte access and passivates the electrochemically active surface area. Electrode morphologies are sought to assist in the removal of gas from surfaces to achieve higher reaction rates at operational voltages. Herein, regular arrays of linear ridges with specific microscale separations were systematically studied and correlated to the performance of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). The dimensions of the linear ridges were proportional to the size of the oxygen bubbles, and the mass transfer processes associated with gas evolution at these ridges were monitored using a high-speed camera. Characterization of the adhered bubbles prior to detachment enabled the use of empirical methods to determine the volumetric flux of product gas and the bubble residence times. The linear ridges promoted a self-cleaning effect as one bubble would induce neighboring bubbles to simultaneously release from the electrode surfaces. The linear ridges also provided preferential bubble growth sites, which expedited the detachment of bubbles with similar diameters and shorter residence times. The linear ridges enhanced the OER in comparison to planar electrodes prepared by electrodeposition from the same high-purity nickel (Ni). Linear ridges with a separation distance of 200 μm achieved nearly a 2-fold increase in current density relative to the planar electrode at an operating voltage of 1.8 V (vs Hg/HgO). The electrodes with linear ridges having a separation distance of 200 μm also had the highest sustained current densities over a range of operating conditions for the OER. Self-cleaning surface morphologies could benefit a variety of electrocatalytic gas evolving reactions by improving the efficiency of these processes.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.0c15240.

  • Additional SEM and optical images of the samples; plots of relative surface areas; additional CV, LSV, CA, and CP data; histograms of the CP and CA measurements; plots of the mean current densities from the CA measurements; a table of electrochemical surface area measurements; still images from the videos; measurements of the fractional bubble coverage and average bubble diameters; equations for the residence time; volumetric flux; theoretical bubble overpotentials (i.e., activation, ohmic, and concentration overpotentials) and the results associated with these calculations; bubble contact angle measurements; and a photograph of the corresponding setup (PDF)

  • Representative high-speed video for the planar electrode (MP4)

  • Representative high-speed video for the 10–10 electrode (MP4)

  • Representative high-speed video for the 10–25 electrode (MP4)

  • Representative high-speed video for the 10–50 electrode (MP4)

  • Representative high-speed video for the 10–100 electrode (MP4)

  • Representative high-speed video for the 10–200 electrode (MP4)

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Cited By


This article is cited by 1 publications.

  1. Shuai Zhang, Lishuang Xu, Jie Wu, Ying Yang, Chengxin Zhang, Haiyan Tao, Jingquan Lin, Licheng Huang, Wencheng Fang, Keying Shi, Xiangting Dong. Femtosecond laser micro-nano processing for boosting bubble releasing of gas evolution reactions. Nano Research 2021, 51 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-021-3811-3