Capacitance and Hydrogen Evolution Reaction Characterization of Electrodeposited Nickel Alloy Thin Films

Student Author(s)

Matthew Gira

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jennifer Hampton

Document Type


Event Date



With the global energy demand growing, there is greater need for production of energy. One of the ways of producing this energy is creation of hydrogen gas to store energy; however, this technique is not yet economically favorable compared to many other energy sources. One reason for this is the current use of platinum in hydrogen production. As a result, we are exploring other less costly metals for use as hydrogen producing catalysts. With the technique of electrodeposition, different nickel alloy thin films were created to characterize their structure, composition, and hydrogen production capabilities. Characterization was completed using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to measure roughness, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to measure composition, and cyclic voltammetry to measure electrochemical capacitance. Linear sweep voltammetry was used to perform the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), a reaction that produces hydrogen gas as a product. The use of these characterization techniques and HER measurements could help further understanding of the production of hydrogen and help fuel cells become more economically favorable using these earth-abundant metals.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSFRUI Grant No. DMR-1104725, NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-0959282, NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-1126462, and the Hope College Jacob E. Nyenhuis Faculty Development fund.

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