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Issue 31, 2020
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Catalytic activity atlas of ternary Co–Fe–V metal oxides for the oxygen evolution reaction

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Abstract

The sluggish oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a crucial limiting factor in many renewable energy conversion and storage devices. Multi-metal oxides have been explored as efficient electrocatalysts for the OER; however, the ideal elemental composition for multi-metal oxides is unknown. We first performed density functional theory calculations, which predicted that Co oxyhydroxides doped with Fe and V have excellent catalytic activity. We synthesized a series of amorphous Co–Fe–V ternary metal oxides with a precisely controlled metal molar composition (denoted as CoaFebVcOx, where a + b + c = 10), uniformly distributed elements and identical morphologies by using Prussian blue analogues (PBAs) as novel metal precursors. A systematic investigation was carried out to establish correlations between the elemental compositions and the OER activity for CoaFebVcOx, resulting in a comprehensive catalytic activity atlas of ternary Co–Fe–V metal oxides for the OER, which can serve as a roadmap for electrocatalyst development. In particular, Co3Fe4V3Ox with an elemental composition of Co : Fe : V = 3 : 4 : 3 shows the best performance, with an overpotential of merely 249 mV to reach a current density of 10 mA cm−2, and a low Tafel slope of 41 mV dec−1, outperforming a commercial IrOx catalyst. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis reveals strong electronic synergies among the metal cations in CoaFebVcOx. The V and Fe doping can affect the electronic structure of Co to yield nearly optimal adsorption energies for OER intermediates, giving rise to the superior activity. Furthermore, composition-tuneable and uniform PBAs may serve as versatile and efficient metal precursors to produce many more multi-metal oxides for various renewable energy applications.

Graphical abstract: Catalytic activity atlas of ternary Co–Fe–V metal oxides for the oxygen evolution reaction

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
15 Apr 2020
Accepted
01 Jun 2020
First published
01 Jun 2020

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020,8, 15951-15961
Article type
Paper

Catalytic activity atlas of ternary Co–Fe–V metal oxides for the oxygen evolution reaction

J. Chen, H. Li, Z. Pei, Q. Huang, Z. Yuan, C. Wang, X. Liao, G. Henkelman, Y. Chen and L. Wei, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, 8, 15951
DOI: 10.1039/D0TA04088F

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