(112c) Electrodeposition As a Method to Prepare Thin Film Electrocatalysts for Renewable Energy Application | AIChE

(112c) Electrodeposition As a Method to Prepare Thin Film Electrocatalysts for Renewable Energy Application

Reducing anthropogenic carbon emissions requires effective energy conversion and storage devices to support intermittent alternative energy sources and make them economically competitive. The electrochemical reactions used in these devices, namely the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), oxygen evolution reaction (OER), and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), require an effective catalyst to improve poor kinetics and generally high overpotential. Precious metals such as Pt, Ir, and Ru are used commercially to catalyze these reactions because of their high activity; however, high cost, rarity and poor selectivity limit their practicality for widespread use. Thus, materials from non-precious metal sources with high catalytic activity are highly sought after. From a device/engineering standpoint, an electrocatalyst material should be scalable for large devices and easily applicable to a gas diffusion or solid electrode surface.

Electrodeposition is a simple, scalable method to prepare materials on many substrates, and is highly tunable as the electrolytic conditions and electrochemical technique affect film growth. In addition to being scalable and versatile, electrodeposition is beneficial to electrocatalysis as the intimate substrate connection allows for more rapid charge transfer, and no pretreatment (e.g. binders that can decrease surface adsorption) is necessary to ensure adhesion or stability. Thus, we have developed thin film electrodepositions for ORR, OER, and HER electrocatalysts with promising fundamental results and scalable possibilities for device fabrication. Our NixCo3-xO4 bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysts, a CoP bifunctional water splitting electrocatalyst, and a MnOx/PEDOT ORR electrocatalyst will be highlighted and examined for their promise as catalyst materials for next-generation energy conversion and storage devices.

This work was supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program at Sandia National Laboratories, a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energyâ??s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.