Electrochimica Acta, Vol.178, 280-286, 2015
A model for electrode effects based on adsorption theory
A model to describe the electrode effects based on the adsorption theory is proposed. We assume that the coverage (i.e by gas bubbles, electrodeposition of compounds, etc) of the electrodes is governed by a kinetics equation where the adsorption term is proportional to the bulk current density, and the desorption term to the actual coverage. The adsorption can take place only on the uncovered part of the electrode. We show that the coverage is responsible for a variation of the interface properties of the electrode. The time dependence of the electric response of the cell, submitted to an external voltage, is determined by solving the differential equation for the coverage. We show that two regimes are expected. One, in the limit of small time, controlled by the charging of the surface interface, and one related to the coverage. The theoretical predictions are in reasonable agreement with the experimental data concerning the time dependence of the current and the current-voltage characteristics of a home-made photo-electrolyzer constituted by a BiVO4 photoanode and a Pt cathode. Moreover, a normalized current-voltage curve was obtained, which fit also literature data based on (i) electrolysis on cylindrical stainless-steel electrodes in NaOH electrolyte and (ii) electrolytic plasma nitrocarburizing of AISI 1020 steel discs in an Urea-based aqueous solution, demonstrating the versatility and broad range of application of the here proposed model. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.