The present techniques provide electrochemical devices having enhanced electrodes with surfaces that facilitate operation, such as by formation of a porous nickel layer on an operative surface, particularly of the cathode. The porous metal layer increases the surface area of the electrode, which may result in increasing the efficiency of the electrochemical devices. The formation of the porous metal layer is performed in situ, that is, after the assembly of the electrodes into an electrochemical device. The in situ process offers a number of advantages, including the ability to protect the porous metal layer on the electrode surface from damage during assembly of the electrochemical device. The enhanced electrode and the method for its processing may be used in any number of electrochemical devices, and is particularly well suited for electrodes in an electrolyzer useful for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-FC07-06ID14789 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.