Formation of the honeycomb-like MgO/Mg(OH)2 structures with controlled shape and size of holes by molten salt electrolysis

Nataša Vukićević, Vesna S. Cvetković, Nebojša D. Nikolić, Goran Branković, Jovan Jovićević


Synthesis of the honeycomb-like MgO/Mg(OH)2 structures, with controlled shape and size of holes, by the electrolysis from magnesium nitrate hexahydrate melt onto glassy carbon is presented. The honeycomb-like structures were made up of holes, formed from detached hydrogen bubbles, surrounded by walls built up of thin intertwined needles. For the first time, it was shown that the honeycomb-like structures can be obtained by molten salt electrolysis and not exclusively by electrolysis from aqueous electrolytes. Analogies with the processes of honeycomb-like metal structures formation from aqueous electrolytes are presented and discussed. Rules established for the formation of these structures from aqueous electrolytes, such as the increase of number of holes, the decrease of holes size and coalescence of neighbouring hydrogen bubbles observed with increasing cathodic potential, appeared to be valid for the electrolysis of the molten salt used.


electrolysis; magnesium nitrate melt; honeycomb-like structure; hydrogen evolution; scanning electron microscope (SEM)

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