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Investigating the Integrity of Graphene towards the Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER)

García-Miranda Ferrari, A and Brownson, DAC and Banks, CE (2019) Investigating the Integrity of Graphene towards the Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER). Scientific Reports, 9 (1). p. 15961.

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Abstract

© 2019, The Author(s). Mono-, few-, and multilayer graphene is explored towards the electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER). Careful physicochemical characterisation is undertaken during electrochemical perturbation revealing that the integrity of graphene is structurally compromised. Electrochemical perturbation, in the form of electrochemical potential scanning (linear sweep voltammetry), as induced when exploring the HER using monolayer graphene, creates defects upon the basal plane surface that increases the coverage of edge plane sites/defects resulting in an increase in the electrochemical reversibility of the HER process. This process of improved HER performance occurs up to a threshold, where substantial break-up of the basal sheet occurs, after which the electrochemical response decreases; this is due to the destruction of the sheet integrity and lack of electrical conductive pathways. Importantly, the severity of these changes is structurally dependent on the graphene variant utilised. This work indicates that multilayer graphene has more potential as an electrochemical platform for the HER, rather than that of mono- and few-layer graphene. There is huge potential for this knowledge to be usefully exploited within the energy sector and beyond.

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