Activity of MWCNT sheets and effects of carbonaceous impurities toward the alkaline-based hydrogen evolution reaction
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Herein, we utilize freestanding sheets of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT), fabricated through a surface-engineered and controlled approach, to provide direct measurements of activities of MWCNT toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Since conventional fabrication methods of MWCNT materials can result in different carbonaceous residue contents (as reported in literature), the effect of carbonaceous impurities on the activity of MWCNT toward the HER becomes interesting (not previously recognized). Our results show that increasing amounts of carbonaceous impurities (in the form of carbon black additives) can initially increase the catalytic activity of MWCNT toward the HER, but will result in a lower electrochemical stability and lower activity at higher rates of charge transfer or longer times of charging, for which we propose an electrolytic transport mechanism, related to a debris-formation phenomenon occurring over carbonaceous impurities. The work suggests that carbonaceous impurities’ content should be accounted for during electrochemical studies of MWCNT toward the HER.
KeywordsMulti-walled carbon nanotubes Electrolysis Hydrogen evolution reaction Electrocatalysis Buckypaper
This publication is based upon work supported by the Khalifa University of Science and Technology under Award No. 8474000003. The authors acknowledge the Cooperative Agreement between the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute), Abu Dhabi, UAE and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA. The authors acknowledge the support of Applied NanoStructured Solutions LLC, a Lockheed Martin Company, for providing the carbon nanostructured flakes.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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