Understanding the Nanoscale Behavior of Iron Anodes for Rechargeable Iron-Air Batteries

Understanding the Nanoscale Behavior of Iron Anodes for Rechargeable Iron-Air Batteries

Scientific Achievement
In-situ EC-AFM investigation for the redox layer formation on a polycrystalline iron electrode in concentrated alkaline electrolyte (0.5M KOH) during consecutive cycling. Surface topography is shown after the first reduction and after the fourth oxidation half cycle. (hi-res image)

Reversible oxidation structures on iron are identified during repeated electrochemical charge/discharge in a concentrated alkaline electrolyte.

Significance and Impact

Iron-air batteries may prove a resource-efficient solution for energy storage, but charge-transfer reactions at the anode-electrolyte interface are poorly understood.

Research Details

– In-situ electrochemical atomic force microscopy (EC-AFM) is performed during electrochemical cycling in an alkaline electrolyte.
– Topography changes and electrochemical processes on a polycrystalline iron electrode are directly correlated.
– Continuous particle growth during both oxidation and reduction (redox) is visualized.
– A structural model explains the redox behavior of iron at the nanoscale.
 
H. Weinrich, J. Come, H.Tempel, H. Kungl, R.-A.Eichel, N. Balke, "Understanding the nanoscale redox-behavior of iron-anodes for rechargeable iron-air batteries," Nano Energy 41, 706 (2017).  DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2017.10.023

CNMS Researchers

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