Research Article

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2021, 14(1): 311–319

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-020-3090-4

Flexible Au micro-array electrode with atomic-scale Au thin film for enhanced ethanol oxidation reaction

Xun Cao1,2,§, Dongdong Peng2,§, Cao Wu2,3, Yongmin He2, Chaojiang Li4, Bowei Zhang5, Changcun Han1, Junsheng Wu5 (✉), Zheng Liu2 (✉), and Yizhong Huang1,2 (✉)

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1 College of Science, Hubei University of Technology, 28 Nanli Road, Hongshan District, Wuhan 430068, China
2 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
3 International Laboratory for Insulation and Energy Efficiency Materials, College of Materials Science and Technology, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 29 Jiangjun Avenue, Jiangning District, Nanjing 211100, China
4 School of Mechanical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, 5 South Zhongguancun Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100081, China
5 Institute for Advanced Materials and Technology, University of Science and Technology Beijing, 30 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100083, China
§ Xun Cao and Dongdong Peng contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: atomic-scale three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures, atomic-scale active sites, in-situ observations, flexible electrode, ethanol oxidation reaction, active site utilisation ratio
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  • Abstract
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The catalysis of Au thin film could be improved by fabrication of array structures in large area. In this work, nanoimprint lithography has been developed to fabricate flexible Au micro-array (MA) electrodes with ~ 100% coverage. Advanced electron microscopy characterisations have directly visualised the atomic-scale three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures with a maximum depth of 6 atomic layers. In-situ observation unveils the crystal growth in the form of twinning. High double layer capacitance brings about large number of active sites on the Au thin film and has a logarithmic relationship with mesh grade. Electrochemistry testing shows that the Au MAs perform much better ethanol oxidation reaction than the planar sample; MAs with higher mesh grade have a greater active site utilisation ratio (ASUR), which is important to build electrochemical double layer for efficient charge transfer. Further improvement on ASUR is expected for greater electrocatalytic performance and potential application in direct ethanol fuel cell.
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Flexible Au micro-array electrode with atomic-scale Au thin film for enhanced ethanol oxidation reaction. Nano Res. 2021, 14(1): 311–319 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-020-3090-4

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