Electrochemically active surface area controls HER activity for FexNi100−x films in alkaline electrolyte

Sergio I. Perez Bakovic, Prashant Acharya, Morgan Watkins, Hannah Thornton, Shixuan Hou, Lauren F. Greenlee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The synthesis and electrocatalytic activity of FexNi100−x electrochemically deposited films were investigated. Films were evaluated for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in alkaline media with respect to composition and electrochemically active surface area (ECSA). Results demonstrate that films of higher or equal Fe content had an ECSA tenfold greater than films with higher Ni. When normalized by geometric surface area, Fe50Ni50 films required the lowest overpotential of −390 mV to reach a current density of −10 mA cm−2. However, when normalized by the ECSA, intrinsic HER activity increases as Ni content increases. Tafel slope, ECSA, microscopy, and impedance spectroscopy analyses allow a decoupled analysis of surface area versus activity effects on overall measured HER activity. These analyses collectively demonstrate that the increase in electrocatalytic activity is attributed to the increase in ECSA and not to an enhancement in the intrinsic activity by Fe and Ni component interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Catalysis
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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