Precious metals require high precision
Hydrogen as an energy carrier is the main and inevitable alternative to fossil fuels . Production of "green" hydrogen rely on specific catalysts that increase efficiency of water electrolysis. While solid oxide electrolyzers and alkaline electrolyzers use common materials such as Nickel or Zirconia, more eco-friendly way of production of "green" hydrogen — proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers — use Iridium and Platinum. These noble metals are not only expensive, but also scarce: total Iridium production is limited to a few metric tons per year.
For PEM electrolyzers to have future it is necessary to reduce catalyst load in the membrane-electrode assembly without decreasing the efficiency of water electrolysis. Magnetron sputtering is the perfect tool for creating complex, composite nanocoatings with high specific surface area of catalyst that can potentially decrease catalyst loading several times.
For these purposes Naco Technologies created new magnetron that can sputter precious metals from targets as small as one inch in diameter and only 0.5 mm thick. With such small targets it is possible to make catalytic coatings and research alternative catalysts without spending large amount of money. Additionally, we designed new magnetic system to increase erosion zone area and thus increasing efficiency of material usage.
New Naco magnetron will pave a way for fast and cost-effective catalyst coating research and development and feasible "green" hydrogen production in the future.