Progress of Cryogenics and Isotopes Separation , ISSN: 1582-2575
2017, Volume 20, Issue 1

Niobium oxide catalysts obtained by DC magnetron sputtering for PEM electrolysis application

Daniela Ion-Ebrasu 1* , Stanica Enache 1 , Alexandru Rizoiu 1 , Mihaela Filip 2 , Silviu Preda 2 , Mihai Varlam 1 , Victor Fruth 2 , Ioan Stefanescu 1

1 National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies - ICSI Rm. Valcea, Uzinei Street no. 4, PO Box Râureni 7, 240050, Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania
2 Ilie Murgulescu Institute of Phisical Chemistry, Romanian Academy, P.O. Box 12-194, 060021, Bucharest, Romania

*Corresponding author: Daniela Ion-Ebrasu, Phone: 050/732 744, Fax: 0250/732 746, E-mail:

Published: 2017


Proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis is seen as one of the most efficient and simple way to obtain high purity hydrogen. A major drawback in these systems is the catalysts long term stability in aqueous media. One way to improve that is to use niobium oxides as catalytic support since they have enhanced catalytic stability and high corrosion resistance to various acidcatalyzed reactions such as sulfonated radicals in the form of proton exchange membranes.
In this work we show that nano-sized niobium-niobium oxides can be obtained by DC magnetron sputtering in Ar atmosphere, without using oxygen during deposition. Residual contamination with oxygen renders the films composite, consisting of niobium-niobium oxide conglomerates resembling to a core-shell structure. The catalytic activity of the top niobium-oxide layer is investigated by voltammetric methods whereas the structural, electrical and optical properties are studied by XRD, frequency dependent impedance and UV-Vis transmission techniques, respectively.


Electrolysis, niobium, DC sputtering

Tag search Electrolysis niobium DC sputtering