A comprehensive approach providing a new synthetic route for bimetallic electrocatalysts via isoPOMs [M/Rh(Cp*)4W8O32] (M = Rh (1) and Ir (2))
Polyoxometalates (POMs) are highly versatile materials if paired with various conducting supports. We here present a new prospective approach for obtaining advanced electrocatalytic systems via POMs (1 and 2) nanostructured on Ni foam (NF) to give bimetallic nanohybrid composite materials M0.4Ni0.6/WO3 (M = Rh (3) or Ir (4)). By this pathway, two rare isopolyoctatungstate-based organometallic clusters [Hx(MCp*)4W8O32]·yH2O (in 1, M = Rh, x = 8, y = 23; in 2, M = Ir, x = 4, y = 17.33) have been synthesized via one-pot reactions using [Cp*MCl2]2 (Cp* = pentamethylcyclopentadienyl, M = Rh or Ir) and Na2WO4·2H2O in basic conditions. Compounds 1 and 2 were successfully nanostructured on the surface of commercially available NF and were thermally reduced to M0.4Ni0.6/WO3 (M = Rh (3) or Ir (4)) after annealing at 400 °C for 8 h in a 15% H2/N2 atmosphere. Electrodes modified with the POMs 3 and 4 exhibited remarkable HER activities in a 1 M KOH solution and achieved a current density of 10 mA cm−2 at low overpotentials of about 67 and 35 mV versus RHE, with Tafel slopes of 56 and 34 mV dec−1, respectively.