Ruthenium as an electrode material for the fast electrochemical actuator

Physical materials technology

Electrolysis of water performed by alternating polarity (AP) voltage pulses increases the operating frequency of the electrochemical actuator by several orders of magnitude due to the fast recombination of the produced gas. The gas is collected in nanobubbles that disappear quickly due to spontaneous combustion of hydrogen and oxygen. However, this type of electrolysis damages the electrodes and the actuator performance deteriorates with time.
Platinum electrodes suffer from mechanical action of nanobubbles, while titanium structures are oxidized. A promising material is ruthenium due to its chemical inertness and mechanical strength. In this work, we test Ru, Pt and Ti electrodes in the AP electrolysis. The degree of wear, current flowing through the cell, and threshold voltage are analyzed and compared.