Correlating the Short-Time Current Response of a Hydrogen Evolving Nickel Electrode to Bubble Growth

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Abstract

Gas evolving electrochemical reactions induce bubble formation and growth at surfaces of electrodes. To study one such situation, hydrogen evolution on nickel electrodes, short time chronoamperometric experiments were performed in combination with in-situ microscopy. The entire electrode of 3.14 mm2 was imaged with confocal microscopy and the current response of the electrode then correlated to the observed bubble growth features. Somehow counterintuitively, first a 2–3% increase in current was observed consistently when a bubble grows close to the electrode on the edge of the electrode holder, made of a polymer. This is argued to be due to the removal of surface attached gas from the electrode. Next, we observe a consecutive regime of decreasing current, in which large bubbles accumulate on the surface. Interestingly, when these surface attached bubbles coalesce, a steep change in current is observed, which is accompanied by a burst of small bubbles nucleating on the surface previously occupied by the large bubble. These phenomena are qualitatively discussed on the basis of existing literature, and implications for improvements for electrodes on which gases are produced, are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E280-E285
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume166
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019

Cite this

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title = "Correlating the Short-Time Current Response of a Hydrogen Evolving Nickel Electrode to Bubble Growth",
abstract = "Gas evolving electrochemical reactions induce bubble formation and growth at surfaces of electrodes. To study one such situation, hydrogen evolution on nickel electrodes, short time chronoamperometric experiments were performed in combination with in-situ microscopy. The entire electrode of 3.14 mm2 was imaged with confocal microscopy and the current response of the electrode then correlated to the observed bubble growth features. Somehow counterintuitively, first a 2–3{\%} increase in current was observed consistently when a bubble grows close to the electrode on the edge of the electrode holder, made of a polymer. This is argued to be due to the removal of surface attached gas from the electrode. Next, we observe a consecutive regime of decreasing current, in which large bubbles accumulate on the surface. Interestingly, when these surface attached bubbles coalesce, a steep change in current is observed, which is accompanied by a burst of small bubbles nucleating on the surface previously occupied by the large bubble. These phenomena are qualitatively discussed on the basis of existing literature, and implications for improvements for electrodes on which gases are produced, are outlined.",
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Correlating the Short-Time Current Response of a Hydrogen Evolving Nickel Electrode to Bubble Growth. / Pande, Nakul; Mul, Guido; Lohse, Detlef; Mei, Bastian.

In: Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol. 166, No. 10, 30.05.2019, p. E280-E285.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - Gas evolving electrochemical reactions induce bubble formation and growth at surfaces of electrodes. To study one such situation, hydrogen evolution on nickel electrodes, short time chronoamperometric experiments were performed in combination with in-situ microscopy. The entire electrode of 3.14 mm2 was imaged with confocal microscopy and the current response of the electrode then correlated to the observed bubble growth features. Somehow counterintuitively, first a 2–3% increase in current was observed consistently when a bubble grows close to the electrode on the edge of the electrode holder, made of a polymer. This is argued to be due to the removal of surface attached gas from the electrode. Next, we observe a consecutive regime of decreasing current, in which large bubbles accumulate on the surface. Interestingly, when these surface attached bubbles coalesce, a steep change in current is observed, which is accompanied by a burst of small bubbles nucleating on the surface previously occupied by the large bubble. These phenomena are qualitatively discussed on the basis of existing literature, and implications for improvements for electrodes on which gases are produced, are outlined.

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