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Issue 34, 2013
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Ordered mesoporous Co3O4 spinels as stable, bifunctional, noble metal-free oxygen electrocatalysts

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Abstract

We report the use of noble metal-free ordered mesoporous Co3O4 spinels (meso-Co3O4), templated from KIT-6 mesoporous silica, as highly active and stable bifunctional electrocatalysts for both oxygen evolution and reduction reactions (OER and ORR, respectively). The meso-Co3O4 nanostructures showed high activity for OER in an alkaline medium (0.1 M KOH), which makes them comparable to the most active Ir/C catalyst and better than Co3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) and the Pt/C catalyst. Furthermore, meso-Co3O4 exhibited enhanced stability, compared to Co3O4 NPs. The enhanced activity and stability of meso-Co3O4 over Co3O4 NPs could be attributed to its high surface area and structural stability of the gyroid network structure in the meso-Co3O4 catalysts. The meso-Co3O4 nanostructures also showed promising activity for ORR and exhibited a methanol-tolerance superior to the Pt/C catalyst. The total overpotential of meso-Co3O4 for OER (at 10 mA cm−2) and ORR (at −3 mA cm−2) was 1.034 V, which is on a par with noble metal-based catalysts. This work demonstrates that directing metal oxides into mesostructures is a promising means of preparing highly active, stable, bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysts that can potentially replace expensive noble metal-based catalysts. This design strategy can be extended to other reactions relevant to energy conversion and storage applications.

Graphical abstract: Ordered mesoporous Co3O4 spinels as stable, bifunctional, noble metal-free oxygen electrocatalysts

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
15 May 2013
Accepted
20 Jun 2013
First published
20 Jun 2013

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013,1, 9992-10001
Article type
Paper

Ordered mesoporous Co3O4 spinels as stable, bifunctional, noble metal-free oxygen electrocatalysts

Y. J. Sa, K. Kwon, J. Y. Cheon, F. Kleitz and S. H. Joo, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013, 1, 9992
DOI: 10.1039/C3TA11917C

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