Cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry with an ultramicroelectrode (UME) were employed to study Zn and Mg electrodeposition and the corresponding mechanistic pathways. CVs obtained at a Pt UME for Zn electroreduction from a trifluoromethylsulfonyl imide (TFSI-) and chloride-containing electrolyte in acetonitrile exhibit current densities that are scan rate independent, as expected for a simple electron transfer at a UME. However, CVs obtained from three different Mg-containing electrolytes in THF exhibit an inverse dependence between scan rate and current density. COMSOL-based simulation suggests that Zn electrodeposition proceeds via a simple one-step, two-electron transfer (E) mechanism. Alternatively, the Mg results are best described by invoking a chemical step prior to electron transfer: a chemical-electrochemical (CE) mechanism. The chemical step exhibits an activation energy of 51 kJ/mol. This chemical step is likely the disproportionation of the chloro-bridged dimer [Mg2(μ-Cl)3·6THF]+ present in active electrodeposition solutions. Our work shows that Mg deposition kinetics can be improved by way of increased temperature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films