Ordered three dimensional electrodes for electrocatalysis

January 2016 – September 2019

Over the last decade, the use of nanotechnology in electrochemical catalysis has become extreme popular. Sole nanoparticles, however, do not yet constitute an electrode. Hence, deposition on a conducting support structure is indispensable. In electrode fabrication planar supports are the preferred format as they give rise to the least complications during deposition. Planar supports, though, do not always lead to the most efficient process. Three dimensional (3D) support structures give rise to a higher surface area and when the architecture is ordered, also to improved mass transport due to its flow distribution properties. Regular deposition of electrocatalyst nanoparticles in confined spaces of non-planar supports, however, is far from straightforward considering the difficulty to reach such places. Transferring the desired atomic rearrangement into ordered 3D structures has then also been identified as one of the next challenges. The goal of this project is to develop such ordered 3D support structures and uniformly coat them with electrocatalytic nanoparticles. To achieve this goal, three research questions will be answered: (1) what is the impact of the support shape on the deposition uniformity; (2) what is the impact of the support shape on the efficiency of electrochemical processes; (3) what is the impact of the electrode positioning in the electrochemical reactor.