Local Activities of Hydroxide and Water Determine the Operation of Silver-Based Oxygen Depolarized Cathodes

Botz, A. and Clausmeyer, J. and Öhl, D. and Tarnev, T. and Franzen, D. and Turek, T. and Schuhmann, W.

Volume: 57 Pages: 12285-12289
DOI: 10.1002/anie.201807798
Published: 2018

Local ion activity changes in close proximity to the surface of an oxygen depolarized cathode (ODC) were measured by scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM). While the operating ODC produces OH− ions and consumes O2 and H2O through the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), local changes in the activity of OH− ions and H2O are detected by means of a positioned Pt microelectrode serving as an SECM tip. Sensing at the Pt tip is based on the pH-dependent reduction of PtO and obviates the need for prior electrode modification steps. It can be used to evaluate the coordination numbers of OH− ions and H2O, and the method was exploited as a novel approach of catalyst activity assessment. We show that the electrochemical reaction on highly active catalysts can have a drastic influence on the reaction environment. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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