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Title: Oxyanion Induced Variations in Domain Structure for Amorphous Cobalt Oxide Oxygen Evolving Catalysts, Resolved by X-ray Pair Distribution Function Analysis

Amorphous thin film oxygen evolving catalysts, OECs, of first-row transition metals show promise to serve as self-assembling photoanode materials in solar-driven, photoelectrochemical `artificial leaf' devices. This report demonstrates the ability to use high-energy X-ray scattering and atomic pair distribution function analysis, PDF, to resolve structure in amorphous metal oxide catalyst films. The analysis is applied here to resolve domain structure differences induced by oxyanion substitution during the electrochemical assembly of amorphous cobalt oxide catalyst films, Co-OEC. PDF patterns for Co-OEC films formed using phosphate, Pi, methylphosphate, MPi, and borate, Bi, electrolyte buffers show that the resulting domains vary in size following the sequence Pi < MPi < Bi. The increases in domain size for CoMPi and CoBi were found to be correlated with increases in the contributions from bilayer and trilayer stacked domains having structures intermediate between those of the LiCoOO and CoO(OH) mineral forms. The lattice structures and offset stacking of adjacent layers in the partially stacked CoMPi and CoBi domains were best matched to those in the LiCoOO layered structure. The results demonstrate the ability of PDF analysis to elucidate features of domain size, structure, defect content and mesoscale organization for amorphous metal oxide catalysts that are notmore » readily accessed by other X-ray techniques. Finally, PDF structure analysis is shown to provide a way to characterize domain structures in different forms of amorphous oxide catalysts, and hence provide an opportunity to investigate correlations between domain structure and catalytic activity.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  2. Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Acta Crystallographica. Section B, Structural Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 71; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0567-7408
International Union of Crystallography
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; water-splitting catalysts; amorphous metal oxides; pair distribution function analysis; high-energy X-ray scattering; cobalt oxide
OSTI Identifier: