Effect of surface transport properties on the performance of carbon plastic electrodes for flow battery applications

Xihe Sun, Tewfik Souier, Matteo Chiesa, Anthony Vassallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Due to their high electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance, carbon nanotube (MWNT)-high density polyethylene (HDPE) composites are potential candidates to replace traditional activated carbon electrodes for the next generation of fuel-cells, super capacitors and flow batteries. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is employed to separate the surface conduction from bulk conduction in 15% HDPE-MWNT and 19% carbon black (CB)-HDPE composites for zinc-bromine flow battery electrodes. While exhibiting superior bulk conductivity, the interfacial conductivity of MWNT-filled composites is lower than that of CB-filled composites. High resolution conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) imaging and current-voltage (I-V) spectroscopy were employed to investigate the sub-surface electronic transport of the composite. Unlike the CB-composite, the fraction of conducting MWNTs near the surface is very low compared to their volume fraction. In addition, the non-linear I-V curves reveal the presence of a tunneling junction between the tip and the polymer-coated MWNTs. The tunneling resistance is as high as 1 GΩ, which strongly affects the electronic/electrochemical transfer at the interface of the electrolyte and the surface of the composite, which is evident in the voltammetric and EIS observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-110
Number of pages7
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume148
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014

Fingerprint

Transport properties
Carbon
Plastics
Electrodes
Soot
Composite materials
Polyethylene
High density polyethylenes
Carbon black
Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
Imaging techniques
Bromine
Carbon Nanotubes
Electric potential
Flow batteries
Activated carbon
Electrolytes
Corrosion resistance
Zinc
Fuel cells

Keywords

  • Carbon
  • Composites
  • Conductivity
  • EIS
  • Electrodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry

Cite this

Effect of surface transport properties on the performance of carbon plastic electrodes for flow battery applications. / Sun, Xihe; Souier, Tewfik; Chiesa, Matteo; Vassallo, Anthony.

In: Electrochimica Acta, Vol. 148, 01.12.2014, p. 104-110.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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