Electrochemical surface modification of carbon for enhanced water electrolysis
This study reports the activity of porous carbon paper as an efficient oxygen-evolving catalyst. Toray Carbon paper, consisting of carbon fibres, exhibited high current density towards water oxidation after repeated cycling in the anodic region. This activity was due to electrochemical surface modification. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis showed that the carbon oxidizes to form oxygen rich functional groups, assisting the water oxidation. The surface was analysed by non- destructive Kelvin probe (work function) and Raman spectroscopy to support the enhanced electrocatalytic activity. Surface charge measurements (Zeta potential) were performed to support the surface oxidation. Obtained Zeta potentials were accounted for the surface carbon oxidation. It was found that increased work function of carbon paper after continual cycling in the anodic region increased the water splitting ability of carbon electrode. Herein, we observed that functional groups existing on carbon electrode after electrochemical oxidation exhibit excellent catalytic activity and may be a promising low cost material for OER.
Zance S S greatly acknowledges financial support from DST-INSPIRE. We thank K L N Phani, EEC division, CSIR-CECRI, for his assistance and guidance, Director, CSIR-CECRI for his constant support and encouragement, and also G. Sozhan, HOD, EIOC division for his continual support.
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