Cathodic corrosion is a relatively unknown phenomenon that can severely etch metallic electrodes at cathodic (negative) potentials.
- Hersbach, T.J.P.
- 19 December 2018
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
Cathodic corrosion is a relatively unknown phenomenon that can severely etch metallic electrodes at cathodic (negative) potentials. In spite of these remarkable changes that are caused by cathodic corrosion, the phenomenon is stil not fully understood. Cathodic corrosion is therefore the focus of this PhD thesis. The first three experimental chapters of the thesis focus on characterizing platinum, rhodium and gold electrodes before and after cathodic corrosion in a variety of working solutions. In doing so, these chapters establish surprisingly mild corrosion onset potentials and reveal an etching anistropy that depends on the cation in the working solution. Additional density functional theory calculations suggest a similarly significant role for adsorbed hydrogen. These result suggest the existence of ternary metal hydrides during cathodic corrosion. The role of hydrides is further studied in the fourth experimental chapter through X-ray absorption spectroscopy. These four fundamental chapters are followed by two more applied chapters. The first of these tailors the activity of a platinum single crystal towards oxygen reduction, by using cathodic corrosion. The second applied chapter uses cathodic corrosion to create and thoroughly characterize alloyed nanoparticles. Combined, these fundamental and applied chapters provide valuable new information towards understanding and applying cathodic corrosion.