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Investigation of the deposition of metal nanoclusters on the surface of porous electrode materials by electrophoresis


V.V. Sleptsov - Dr.Sc. (Eng.), Head of the Department, Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University)
A.V. Savkin - Ph.D. (Eng.), Associate Professor, Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University)
D.Yu. Kukushkin - Assistant, Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University)
A.O. Diteleva - Assistant, Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University)

Today there was a need for a sharp increase in the energy characteristics of current sources, which can be achieved by using micro-electronic technologies and nanotechnologies in their production. Inferior to chemical sources of current in specific energy, superca-pacitors considerably exceed them in terms of specific power and stability of charge-discharge characteristics over a wide temperature range. Microelectronic technologies and nanotechnologies are in demand for improving the parameters of electrode materials, as the main elements of chemical current sources and supercapacitor structures. Prospective electrode materials must meet several criteria: developed surface area, high electrical conductivity, availability of porous structure to wetting, chemical inertness to structural materials and so on. One of the promising materials in this group are carbon cloths from activated carbon fibers – “busofit”. To reduce the electrical resistance of busofit and create an electrode material on its basis, two problems must be solved. First, apply a continuous layer of metal to the surface of the busofit, which will be a current collector and reduce the internal resistance, which can be done using, for example, magnetron sputtering. Secondly, it is necessary to deposit a layer of metal on each filament of the busofit, which, on the one hand, will lower their electrical resistance, and on the other hand will increase the surface. To solve this problem, it is proposed to use the technology of depositing nanoclusters of metals on the surface of porous materials by electrophoresis.
In the studies, the serial carbon cloth Busofit T-40 and similar carbon materials Busofit T-1, Busofit-T, Busofit-TM-4 were used. On the busofit fibers, nanoclusters of nickel and silver were applied from the hydrosol. The preparation of metal nanoclusters was carried out by the method of electropulse dispersion due to an electric discharge between electrodes made of the metal immersed in distilled water. Under such a synthesis process, colloidal solutions of silver and nickel were obtained in which the initial sizes of the nanoclusters were 25-40 nm and 2-10 nm, respectively. To metallize busofit with metal nanoclusters, an experimental laboratory reactor were developed using electrophoresis. Busofit was placed between the electrodes, after which the reactor was filled with a colloidal solution with silver or nickel nanoclusters and connected to an AC power source with a voltage of 40 V. Nickel is deposited on the busofit in a thin layer, and silver on the surface of the busofit fibers is formed in the form of large nanoparticles and crystallites, developing the surface of the fiber. The experiment of silver deposition on pre-nickel-plated busofit fibers also did not allow a single layer of silver to be deposited on the nickel sublayer as well as the initial busofit fibers. Apparently, this metallization result is associated with the initial size of metal nanoclusters, thin-film coatings are obtained from nanoclusters with sizes of 2-10 nm, and large nanoparticles and crystallites are formed from nanoclusters of a larger fraction.
It was shown the possibility of metallization of porous materials with metal nanoclusters by electrophoresis without reducing their initial porosity. This treatment allows the formation of a coating on the entire surface of a highly porous material, which reduces the electrical resistance and stabilizes the parameters of the electrode material.
This work was supported by the grant № 8.7552.2017/BP from the Ministry of Education and Science of Russian Federation.

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