Electrocatalytic Reaction Driven Flow: Role of pH in Flow Reversal

Abimbola A. Ashaju, Veerle Otten, Jeffery A. Wood, Rob G. H. Lammertink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


Immobilized bimetallic structures generate fluid flow during electrocatalytic reactions with hydrogen peroxide, which is typically driven from the anodic metal to the cathodic metal similar to an electroosmotic flow. However, under low reactive regimes, the generated flow becomes fully reversed, which cannot be explained by the classical electroosmotic theory. This work aims at unraveling the origin and dynamics of this flow hysteresis through a combined experimental and numerical approach. The key electrocatalytic parameters that contribute to flow reversal are analyzed experimentally and numerically under low reactive regimes induced by bulk pH variations. The proton gradient that initiates chemomechanical actuation is probed with the use of fluorescence lifetime imaging. The fluid flow dynamics under reactive regimes are visualized by the use of particle tracking. Our numerical simulations elucidate the role of pH variations and additional ionic species (counterions) toward flow reversal. The combination of these techniques highlights the interplay between electrocatalytic and electrokinetic phenomena on the occurrence of flow reversal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24876-24886
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of physical chemistry C
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2021


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