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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 146126, 7 pages
Research Article

Sputtered Pd as Hydrogen Storage for a Chip-Integrated Microenergy System

1Institute of Materials in Electrical Engineering I, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
2Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Received 14 August 2013; Accepted 15 October 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editors: Y. Kiros and X. S. Qin

Copyright © 2014 E. Slavcheva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The work presents a research on preparation and physical and electrochemical characterisation of dc magnetron sputtered Pd films envisaged for application as hydrogen storage in a chip-integrated hydrogen microenergy system. The influence of the changes in the sputtering pressure on the surface structure, morphology, and roughness was analysed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AMF). The electrochemical activity towards hydrogen adsorption/desorption and formation of PdH were investigated in 0.5 M H2SO4 using the methods of cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic polarisation. The changes in the electrical properties of the films as a function of the sputtering pressure and the level of hydrogenation were evaluated before and immediately after the electrochemical charging tests, using a four-probe technique. The research resulted in establishment of optimal sputter regime, ensuring fully reproducible Pd layers with highly developed surface, moderate porosity, and mechanical stability. Selected samples were integrated as hydrogen storage in a newly developed unitized microenergy system and tested in charging (water electrolysis) and discharging (fuel cell) operative mode at ambient conditions demonstrating a stable recycling performance.