Article

In-situ X-ray diffraction study of the electrochemical reaction on lead electrodes in sulphate electrolytes

University of Vienna, Faculty of Chemistry, Währinger Straße 42, A-1090 Wien, Austria
Materials Chemistry and Physics (Impact Factor: 2.13). 04/2009; 114:983-989. DOI: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2008.11.006

ABSTRACT The anodic oxidation of pure lead in two acidic sulphate electrolytes with identical ionic strength (pH similar to 0 and pH similar to -0.1) was studied by in situ grazing incidence X-ray diffraction method (GIXD). Crystalline products such as lead sulphate (anglesite, PbSO(4), orthorhombic), alpha- and beta-lead dioxide (alpha-PbO(2), orthorhombic, and beta-PbO(2), tetragonal), and tribasic lead sulphate hydrate with the stoichiometric composition 3PbO center dot PbSO(4)center dot H(2)O (triclinic) were detected at defined potentials. A method for the semi-quantitative determination of the thickness of the deposited layer from diffraction data is described. After the in situ measurement, the washed and dried working electrodes were additionally characterized ex situ by GIXD measurements at different angles of incidence. The phase litharge (lead oxide, t-PbO, tetragonal) and lead sulphate were observed at the surface of the lead substrate. The quantitative evaluation of the diffraction intensity of this measurement series enables the modelling of a qualitative depth profile of the layer generated during the electrochemical treatment. The anglesite phase is located in the uppermost layer, while the litharge phase was detected closer to the lead substrate.

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