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Title: Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation by Single Site and Small Nuclearity Clusters of Cobalt

Here, cobalt oxides are an earth abundant material that exhibits high electrocatalytic activity for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) across a wide pH range. Recent studies suggest that OER catalysis can proceed through an active site comprised of one or two cobalt atoms but that multiple adjacent cobalt centers are preferred to stabilize high valent cobalt oxo-intermediates by delocalization. Utilizing molecular precursors to prepare single, isolated cobalt atoms (SS-Co) and small clusters of Co 3O 4 we find that OER proceeds more efficiently on Co 3O 4. Using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), these results were rationalized at an atomic level. The EIS results support a hypothesis that charge transfer related to the formation of reaction intermediates proceeds more easily on Co 3O 4 than on SS-Co, which is attributed to the difficulty in forming Co(IV) = O and unlikely nucleophilic attack by water to form Co(II)-OOH.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 165; Journal Issue: 4; Related Information: © The Author(s) 2017.; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
The Electrochemical Society
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Electrocatalysis; Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy; Oxygen Evolution Reaction
OSTI Identifier: