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ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2018, 10(46), 40294-40301

3D Printed Graphene Electrodes’ Electrochemical Activation

Three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies are emerging as an important tool for the manufacturing of electrodes for various electrochemistry applications. It has been previously shown that metal 3D electrodes, modified with metal oxides, are excellent catalysts for various electrochemical energy and sensing applications. However, the metal 3D printing process, also known as selective laser melting, is extremely costly. One alternative to metal-based electrodes for the aforementioned electrochemical applications is graphene-based electrodes. Nowadays, the printing of polymer-/graphene-based electrodes can be carried out in a matter of minutes using cheap and readily available 3D printers. Unfortunately, these polymer/graphene electrodes exhibit poor electrochemical activity in their native state. Herein, we report on a simple activation method for graphene/polymer 3D printed electrodes by a combined solvent and electrochemical route. The activated electrodes exhibit a dramatic increase in electrochemical activity with respect to the [Fe(CN)(6)](4-/3-) redox couple and the hydrogen evolution reaction. Such in situ activation can be applied on-demand, thus providing a platform for the further widespread utilization of 3D printed graphene/polymer electrodes for electrochemistry.

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