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MSE Graduate Seminar: Super-Aerophobic Porous 3D Electrodes for Electrochemical Catalytic Water Splitting
October 21, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Electrochemical catalytic water splitting, also known as water electrolysis, provides the option of CO2 -free hydrogen production compared to the conventional methane reformation method. While many works in the field have dedicated to finding low-cost high-efficiency catalysts for more competitive electrolysers, the bubble management near the electrodes has drawn the attention of some researchers. The bubble resistance will severely impact the efficiency of the electrolyser as research has shown that the void fraction of bubbles near the electrode surface is almost proportional to the loss of conductivity in the cell. It is proposed that the bubble management could be improved via nano-engineering on the electrode surfaces. Superaerophobic porous 3D electrodes demonstrate excellent capability in both current density enhancing and passive bubble repelling. This is owing to the micro and nano roughness on the surface of those electrodes. In order to find an optimal surface geometry, the testing protocol must be able to consider both electrochemical performance and bubble management, and there should be high degree of freedom in terms of sample surface modification. In this work, a multipurpose, in-situ optical and electrochemical system has been developed to perform various tests regarding the properties of superaerophobic electrodes. In addition, advanced additive manufacturing is also proposed for sample preparation in order to achieve low cost, freely modifiable sample testing.