Electrochemical growth mechanism of nanoporous platinum layers

in: Communications Chemistry (2021)
Stanca, Sarmiza Elena; Vogt, Oliver; Zieger, Gabriel; Ihring, Andreas; Dellith, Jan; Undisz, Andreas; Rettenmayr, Markus; Schmidt, Heidemarie
Porous platinum is a frequently used catalyst material in electrosynthesis and a robust broadband absorber in thermoelectrics. Pore size distribution and localization determine its properties by a large extent. However, the pore formation mechanism during the growth of the material remains unclear. In this work we elucidate the mechanism underlying electrochemical growth of nanoporous platinum layers and its control by ionic concentration and current density during electrolysis. The electrode kinetics and reduction steps of PtCl4 on platinum electrodes are investigated by cyclic voltammetry and impedance measurements. Cyclic voltammograms show three reduction steps: two steps relate to the platinum cation reduction, and one step relates to the hydrogen reduction. Hydrogen is not involved in the reduction of PtCl4, however it enables the formation of nanopores in the layers. These findings contribute to the understanding of electrochemical growth of nanoporous platinum layers in isopropanol with thickness of 100 nm to 500 nm.

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