The Influence of Electrochemical Aging on Bead-Blasted Nickel Electrodes for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction

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The Influence of Electrochemical Aging on Bead-Blasted Nickel Electrodes for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction," Taylor, A. K.; Pauls, A. L.; Paul, M. T. Y.; Gates, B. D., ACS Appl. Energy Mater., 2019, 2 (5), 3166-3178. DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.8b02224.

Date created: 
DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.8b02224
Textured electrodes
Oxygen evolution reaction
Electrochemical aging
Alkaline electrolysis

The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is of importance to both electrochemical energy conversion and energy storage. Low-cost, non-precious metal electrocatalysts that can withstand high operational current densities will likely be the best candidates for meeting the commercial needs for a range of OER applications. In addition to electrode composition, the surface morphology of gas evolving electrodes can affect their efficiency and performance. In this work, we demonstrate the influence of electrochemical aging on the performance of micro- and nanoscale textures for the OER. A series of textured Ni electrodes were prepared by rapid, scalable techniques, which included the use of bead-blasting. Two distinct approaches to induce the formation of the active Ni (oxy)hydroxide phase were conducted by electrochemical aging using cyclic voltammetry (CV) methods. The influence of the aging technique was assessed and correlated to the performance of these surface textures. Differences in the morphology of these textures and their resulting surface areas were estimated using three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions obtained from electron microscopy analyses. Focused ion beam (FIB) milling was also performed on the bead-blasted electrodes to visualize buried cracks and voids. The potential required for the OER at an applied current density of 500 mA/cm2 exhibited a reduction of 0.7 V for the electrodes aged by the steady-state treatment. The OER performance of the textured electrodes were found to correlate to both the electrode surface morphology and the type of electrochemical aging applied to the electrodes.

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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Canada Research Chairs Program
CMC Microsystems