APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Use in studies examining mass-transport properties of ionomers and/or the electrochemical reaction kinetics of hydrogen oxidation and oxygen reduction (fuel cells), hydrogen reduction and water oxidation (electrolysis), CO2 and N2 reduction, CH4 electrolysis
- Use in studies assessing localized mass-transport phenomena in energy storage and conversion device functional layers
- Robust cell design allows for expansion of the testing space for example can also do 2- and 4-point conductivity measurements under controlled environments under realistic applied pressure conditions experimental space addressable by microelectrodes, including mechanical pressure, gas flow, and ionomer medium while increasing experimental throughput
- Provides a consistent base from which to perform more complicated studies examining mass-transport properties of ionomers and/or the electrochemical reaction kinetics of hydrogen oxidation and oxygen reduction (as one example set of reactions)
- More efficient than current technologies
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a microelectrode cell design to expand the experimental space and combat the shortcomings of current microelectrode cells. Currently, microelectrode cells are used to study localized mass-transport phenomena in fuel-cell catalyst layers. Existing cells have only been used in static, equilibrated environment modes. Current microelectrode setups are also complex and the ionomer requires long equilibration times at the desired temperature, pressure, and relative humidity. This new microelectrode cell design improves the experimental space by efficiently including elements such as mechanical pressure, gas flow and ionomer medium, and increases the experimental throughput by reducing equilibration times.
Specifically, the new cell design consists of two separate chambers, one for the working and counter electrodes and one for the reference electrode. There is a small path between the two chambers for the reference bridge to pass and make ionic contact. Each chamber has a discrete gas flow and is sealed. This design is effective for both hydrogen-oxidation reactions and oxygen-reduction and provides a foundation for further work performed in this area. This device can be applied battery material and transport characterizations.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.