To eliminate each one’s drawback, a so called Fuel Cell/Battery (FCB) has been suggested in previous works. As the name implies, it can work both as a fuel cell and battery. When working as latter, the best results were obtained when coating MnO2 via electrochemical deposition on carbon fibers. However, oxygen charging – crucial when running in fuel cell mode – was fairly poor. Therefore, a novel cathode structure is presented in this work.
On the one hand, a high surface area to enhance the oxygen charging rate is obtained via a wave-shaped structure in the micrometer scale. Thanks to the obtained surface increase, a reaction rate improvement by up to one order of magnitude is expected compared to a flat electrode. To tackle the problem of having to charge electrically insulating MnO2 via oxygen while enabling electron collection, a novel, tunnel-looking structure has been developed. Via template method, a several micrometer thick Nickel electrode with one micrometer long pillars has been obtained through electrochemical deposition. On top of the pillars, MnO2 is deposited, creating a triple layer consisting of MnO2, porous Nickel, and bulk Nickel.
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