Issue 35, 2021

Controlling the Co–S coordination environment in Co-doped WS2 nanosheets for electrochemical oxygen reduction

Abstract

Cobalt sulfide nanomaterials are among the most active and stable catalysts for the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction in pH 7 electrolyte. However, due to the complexity and dynamism of the catalytic surfaces in cobalt sulfide bulk materials, it is challenging to identify and tune the active site structure in order to achieve low overpotential oxygen reduction reactivity. In this work, we synthesize isolated Co sites supported on colloidal WS2 nanosheets and develop a synthetic strategy to rationally control the first-shell coordination environment surrounding the adsorbed Co active sites. By studying Co–WS2 materials with a range of Co–S coordination numbers, we are able to identify the optimal active site for pH 7 oxygen reduction catalysis, which comprises cobalt atoms bound to the WS2 support with a Co–S coordination number of 3–4. The optimized Co–WS2 material exhibits an oxygen reduction onset potential of 0.798 V vs. RHE, which is comparable to the most active bulk phases of cobalt sulfide in neutral electrolyte conditions.

Graphical abstract: Controlling the Co–S coordination environment in Co-doped WS2 nanosheets for electrochemical oxygen reduction

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Paper
Submitted
24 Mar 2021
Accepted
28 May 2021
First published
28 May 2021

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2021,9, 19865-19873

Controlling the Co–S coordination environment in Co-doped WS2 nanosheets for electrochemical oxygen reduction

W. Hong, E. Meza and C. W. Li, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2021, 9, 19865 DOI: 10.1039/D1TA02468J

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