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Top-down synthesis of polyoxometalate-like sub-nanometer molybdenum-oxo clusters as high-performance electrocatalysts

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Abstract

The top-down fabrication of catalytically active molecular metal oxide anions, or polyoxometalates, is virtually unexplored, although these materials offer unique possibilities, for catalysis, energy conversion and storage. Here, we report a novel top-down route, which enables the scalable synthesis and deposition of sub-nanometer molybdenum-oxo clusters on electrically conductive mesoporous carbon. The new approach uses a unique redox-cycling process to convert crystalline MoIVO2 particles into sub-nanometer molecular molybdenum-oxo clusters with a nuclearity of ∼1–20. The resulting molybdenum-oxo cluster/carbon composite shows outstanding, stable electrocatalytic performance for the oxygen reduction reaction with catalyst characteristics comparable to those of commercial Pt/C. This new material design could give access to a new class of highly reactive polyoxometalate-like metal oxo clusters as high-performance, earth abundant (electro-)catalysts.

Graphical abstract: Top-down synthesis of polyoxometalate-like sub-nanometer molybdenum-oxo clusters as high-performance electrocatalysts

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Article information


Submitted
29 Oct 2019
Accepted
04 Dec 2019
First published
05 Dec 2019

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Edge Article

Top-down synthesis of polyoxometalate-like sub-nanometer molybdenum-oxo clusters as high-performance electrocatalysts

R. Liu, K. Cao, A. H. Clark, P. Lu, M. Anjass, J. Biskupek, U. Kaiser, G. Zhang and C. Streb, Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC05469C

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