Intrinsically active nickel electrodes with large porous surface areas have shown promise for producing hydrogen by alkaline water electrolysis. In this study, Ni powder and NiO suspensions were sprayed on Inconel 600 substrates with an atmospheric plasma gun, producing single (Ni, NiO) and double layer (Ni-NiO) coatings. Top surface morphologies were examined, revealing both micro and nano scale features. Based on kinetic parameters obtained from steady-state polarization measurements, APS-SPS coated electrodes are the most catalytically active and thus have the most potential for hydrogen evolution. It is believed that the nanoscale structure increases effective surface area while the microporous structure facilitates mass transport and overcomes hydrogen bubble blockage.

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