Mechano-Electrochemistry and Fuel-Forming Mechano-Electrocatalysis on Spring Electrodes

Brian Gregg, Drazenka Svedruzic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


Each material, in principle, possesses a continuum of electrochemical and electrocatalytic properties that can be reversibly tuned by mechanical stress over its elastic range. As an initial test of this hypothesis we investigate stainless steel extension springs as electrodes. Stretching the springs reversibly doubles the heterogeneous rate constant for electron transfer to a redox species in solution, Ru(NH3)6Cl3, while the charge transfer rate through a surface film of Ni(II/III) oxy-hydroxide increases ∼4-fold. Straining the springs near their elastic limit in 1 M NaOH increases the electrcatalytic hydrogen evolution current by ∼50% and the oxygen evolution current by ∼300%. Thus, even the small elastic strain (∼0.1% lattice deformation) that can be applied by stretching a spring leads to significant and reversible increases in the rates of: 1) electron transfer to a redox couple in solution, 2) charge transport through a surface film, and 3) electrocatalysis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)19246-19251
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number33
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-61922


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