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Title: In situ evolution of highly dispersed amorphous CoO x clusters for oxygen evolution reaction

Electrocatalytic water splitting is a key technique to produce hydrogen fuels, which can be considered as an efficient strategy to store renewable energy. Oxygen evolution reaction (OER) that occurs at the anode side requires a four-electron transfer under highly oxidizing conditions. OER has a large overpotential and therefore determines the overall efficiency. Certain electrocatalysts can efficiently help to improve the reaction kinetics. Owing to the high cost of precious metals such as Pt, Ru, and Ir, non-precious metal oxide catalysts have been vigorously investigated under alkaline conditions. Herein, we synthesized novel highly dispersed amorphous CoO x for the first time in the form of a cluster favorable to enhance the OER activity using a facile method via the air dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma. Compared with the pristine biopolymer–cobalt complex, the amorphous CoO x cluster exhibits a much higher current density and a lower overpotential for OER, e.g., the overpotential of 290 mV at 10 mA cm -2 and the overpotential of only 350 mV at 300 mA cm -1. The excellent electrocatalytic OER activity was attributed to the unsaturated catalytic sites on the amorphous CoO x cluster. In addition, we studied the reaction mechanism, and it was observed thatmore » pure O 2 DBD plasma could lead to the evolution of crystalline CoO x; however, the presence of N 2 and O 2 in DBD plasma could ensure the facile evolution of amorphous CoO x clusters. This study provides a new strategy, therefore, to design amorphous materials for electrocatalysis and beyond.« less
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  1. Hunan Univ., Changsha (China). State Key Lab. of Chem/Bio-Sensing and Chemometrics and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  2. Tamkang Univ., Taipei (Taiwan). Dept. of Physics
  3. Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom). School of Chemistry
  4. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)
  5. National Chiao Tung Univ., Hsinchu Science Park (Taiwan). Dept. of Electrophysics
  6. Xi’an Jiaotong Univ., Shaanxi (China). International Research Center for Renewable Energy and State Key Lab. of Multiphase Flow in Power Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2040-3364; NANOHL
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012704; 51402100; 21573066; GD201709
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 33; Journal ID: ISSN 2040-3364
Royal Society of Chemistry
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSF); The Thousand Talents Plan (China); Key Lab. of Optoelectronic Devices and Systems of Ministry of Education and Guangdong province
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: