Catalyzing capping layers on metal hydrides are employed to enhance the hydrogenation kinetics of metal hydride-based systems such as hydrogen sensors. Here, we use a novel experimental method to study the hydrogenation kinetics of catalyzing capping layers composed of several alloys of Pd and Au as well as Pt, Ni, and Ru, all with and without an additional PTFE polymer protection layer and under the same set of experimental conditions. In particular, we employ a thin Ta film as an optical indicator to study the kinetics of the catalytic layers deposited on top of it and which allows one to determine the absolute hydrogenation rates. Our results demonstrate that doping Pd with Au results in significantly faster hydrogenation kinetics, with response times up to five times shorter than Pd through enhanced diffusion and a reduction in the activation energy. On the other hand, the kinetics of non-Pd-based materials turn out to be significantly slower and mainly limited by the diffusion through the capping layer itself. Surprisingly, the additional PTFE layer was only found to improve the kinetics of Pd-based capping materials and has no significant effect on the kinetics of Pt, Ni, and Ru. Taken together, the experimental results aid in rationally choosing a suitable capping material for the application of metal hydrides and other materials in a hydrogen economy. In addition, the used method can be applied to simultaneously study the hydrogenation kinetics in thin-film materials for a wide set of experimental conditions.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.
- capping layers
- catalytic layers
- metal hydrides
- thin films