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Issue 27, 2018
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Boosting water oxidation electrocatalysts with surface engineered amorphous cobalt hydroxide nanoflakes

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Abstract

Enriching dominant active intermediates is most pivotal in developing efficient non-noble oxygen evolution reaction (OER) electrocatalysts for water oxidation. Herein, we report surface-engineered amorphous cobalt hydroxide nanoflakes on nickel foam as highly active electrocatalysts for boosting water oxidation by a new repeatedly switching current–polarity strategy. It is discovered that sulfur introduction can simultaneously increase the Co3+/Co2+ ratio to generate more targeted OOH* intermediates and regulate the surface electronic structure to greatly boost its intrinsic activity. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations further confirm the reduction of the free energy of the OOH* intermediates. Consequently, our Co(OH)xS electrocatalyst exhibits an ultralow overpotential of 283 and 365 mV at 100 and 1000 mA cm−2 in alkaline media, respectively, and its turnover frequency (TOF) is more than 4 times higher than the corresponding Co(OH)x catalysts. This heteroatom triggered surface engineering may open up avenues to explore other efficient non-noble metal electrocatalysts for water oxidation.

Graphical abstract: Boosting water oxidation electrocatalysts with surface engineered amorphous cobalt hydroxide nanoflakes

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 May 2018, accepted on 20 Jun 2018 and first published on 21 Jun 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR04195D
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 12991-12996
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    Boosting water oxidation electrocatalysts with surface engineered amorphous cobalt hydroxide nanoflakes

    H. Zhang, B. Chen, H. Jiang, X. Duan, Y. Zhu and C. Li, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 12991
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR04195D

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