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Proceedings Paper

Enhancing vapor generation at a liquid-solid interface using micro/nanoscale surface structures fabricated by femtosecond laser surface processing
Author(s): Troy P. Anderson; Chris Wilson; Craig A. Zuhlke; Corey Kruse; George Gogos; Sidy Ndao; Dennis Alexander
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Paper Abstract

Femtosecond Laser Surface Processing (FLSP) is a versatile technique for the fabrication of a wide variety of micro/nanostructured surfaces with tailored physical and chemical properties. Through control over processing conditions such as laser fluence, incident pulse count, polarization, and incident angle, the size and density of both micrometer and nanometer-scale surface features can be tailored. Furthermore, the composition and pressure of the environment both during and after laser processing have a substantial impact on the final surface chemistry of the target material. FLSP is therefore a powerful tool for optimizing interfacial phenomena such as wetting, wicking, and phasetransitions associated with a vapor/liquid/solid interface. In the present study, we utilize a series of multiscale FLSPgenerated surfaces to improve the efficiency of vapor generation on a structured surface. Specifically, we demonstrate that FLSP of stainless steel 316 electrode surfaces in an alkaline electrolysis cell results in increased efficiency of the water-splitting reaction used to generate hydrogen. The electrodes are fabricated to be superhydrophilic (the contact angle of a water droplet on the surface is less than 5 degrees). The overpotential of the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is measured using a 3-electrode configuration with a structured electrode as the working electrode. The enhancement is attributed to several factors including increased surface area, increased wettability, and the impact of micro/nanostructures on the bubble formation and release. Special emphasis is placed on identifying and isolating the relative impacts of the various contributions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 March 2015
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9351, Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing IX, 93510D (12 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2079828
Show Author Affiliations
Troy P. Anderson, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
Chris Wilson, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
Craig A. Zuhlke, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
Corey Kruse, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
George Gogos, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
Sidy Ndao, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
Dennis Alexander, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9351:
Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing IX
Udo Klotzbach; Kunihiko Washio; Craig B. Arnold, Editor(s)

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