New Insights into the Metallization of Graphene-Supported Composite Materials-from 3D Cu-Grown Structures to Free-Standing Electrodeposited Porous Ni Foils

Lidija D. Rafailovic, Aleksandar Z. Jovanovic, Sanjin J. Gutic, Jürgen Wehr, Christian Rentenberger, Tomislav Lj Trisovic, Igor A. Pasti

The conductivity and the state of the surface of supports are of vital importance for metallization via electrodeposition. In this study, we show that the metallization of a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) can be carried out directly if the intermediate graphene oxide (GO) layer is chemically reduced on the CFRP surface. Notably, this approach utilizing only the chemically reduced GO as a conductive support allows us to obtain insights into the interaction of rGO and the electrodeposited metal. Our study reveals that under the same contact current experimental conditions, the electrodeposition of Cu and Ni on rGO follows significantly different deposition modes, resulting in the formation of three-dimensional (3D) and free-standing metallic foils, respectively. Considering that Ni adsorption energy is larger than Ni cohesive energy, it is expected that the adhesion of Ni on rGO@CFRP is enhanced compared to Cu. In contrast, the adhesion of deposited Ni is reduced, suggesting diffusion of H+ between rGO and CFRP, which promotes the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and results in the formation of free-standing Ni foils. We ascribe this phenomenon to the unique properties of rGO and the nature of Cu and Ni deposition from electrolytic baths. In the latter, the high adsorption energy of Ni on defective rGO along with HER is the key factor for the formation of the porous layer and free-standing foils.

Physics of Nanostructured Materials
External organisation(s)
University of Belgrade, Airbus Operations GmbH, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, University of Sarajevo, Kompetenzzentrum für elektrochemische Oberflächentechnologie GmbH
ACS Omega
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
104005 Electrochemistry, 103018 Materials physics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Chemical Engineering(all), Chemistry(all)
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