The electrochemical performance of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) was enhanced via laserpatterned graphite felt (GF) electrodes. The laser-structured GF electrodes engineered via preparing a series of well-ordered microscopic channel structures with an average width of 200 mm, creating a threedimensional carbon framework. The ultrafast laser patterning increased the porosity by 10%, as compared to pristine electrode. The analysis of the overpotential distribution using
electrochemical impedance spectroscopy revealed that the electrode polarization involving charge transfer and diffusion resistance is strongly alleviated with the aid of carbon micro-perforation. The advanced design of laserstructured GF electrode also exhibits high rate capability, low internal resistance, and excellent cyclability.
The improved performance was attributed to the synergistic effect involving (i) high electrochemically active surface area for rapid electrochemical reactions (i.e., V(II)/V(III) and V(IV)/V(V) redox couples) and (ii) excellent transport properties for facile electron/ion/species transport. The micro-scale channels created with the laser-ablation technique act as capillary structures and enabled homogeneous and rapid wetting of GF electrodes as formulated with the classical Washburn equation. ... mehrThe VRFB equipped with the laser-structured GF electrodes delivered a high discharge capacity with exceptional capacity retention upon extended cycling (>84.9%). Accordingly, the design of laser-structured electrode paves the pathway towards finely tuning the electrode internal microstructure for improved cyclability, durability, and capacity retention in various electrochemical energy storage/conversion devices (e.g. allvanadium redox flow batteries).