Electrochemical Restructuring of Copper Surfaces Using Organic Additives and Its Effect on the Electrocatalytic Reduction of Nitrate Ions

Ali Balkis, Anthony P. O'Mullane
2015 Australian journal of chemistry (Print)  
This work describes the fabrication of nanostructured copper electrodes using a simple potential cycling protocol that involves oxidation and reduction of the surface in an alkaline solution. It was found that the inclusion of additives such as benzyl alcohol and phenylacetic acid have a profound effect on the surface oxidation process and the subsequent reduction of these oxides. This results in not only a morphology change but also affects the electrocatalytic performance of the electrode for
more » ... the reduction of nitrate ions. In all cases the electrocatalytic performance of the restructured electrodes was significantly enhanced compared to the unmodified electrode. The most promising material was formed when 1 phenylacetic acid was used as the additive. In addition the reduction of residual oxides on the surface after the modification procedure to expose freshly active reaction sites on the surface prior to nitrate reduction was found to be a significant factor in dictating the overall electrocatalytic activity. It is envisaged that this approach offers an interesting way to fabricate other nanostructured electrode surfaces.
doi:10.1071/ch15191 fatcat:qzoycsdpfffnjcspmkihpfdhme