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    The effect of water ingress on additively manufactured electrodes

    Williams, Rhys J, Brine, Tom, Crapnell, Robert D, Ferrari, Alejandro Garcia-Miranda and Banks, Craig E ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0756-9764 (2022) The effect of water ingress on additively manufactured electrodes. Materials Advances, 3 (20). pp. 7632-7639. ISSN 2633-5409

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    Additive Manufacturing (AM), otherwise known as 3D printing, is becoming increasingly popular in the field of electrochemistry since it allows affordable, on-demand production of bespoke devices. Provided a suitably conductive polymer composite material is used, this can include working electrodes. However, while a number of publications have shown such Additively Manufactured Electrodes (AMEs) to be effective, there remain several fundamental areas which must be understood to continue the development of AM for electrochemistry. One such area is the effect of solvent ingress on AME performance, with water probably representing the most important solvent for study considering the amount of electrochemical sensing directed towards biological and environmental systems. Therefore, in this work we study the effect of up to 28 days of water immersion on the physical properties and electrochemical performance of AMEs made from a commonly used conductive material, Protopasta. It is shown that water immersion leads to water uptake of around 1-1.5% by mass for our specific electrode design, which in turn causes a decrease in measured peak current, but an increase in the heterogeneous electron transfer rate constant, k0. These observations are rationalised in terms of Ohmic drop and conductive filler surface chemistry, respectively. Overall, it can be concluded that water ingress is likely to be a concern for any application where AMEs are expected to have extended contact with water, although we note that more work is required to fully understand the extent of the issue.

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