Insights into the electronic origin of enhancing the catalytic activity of Co3O4 for oxygen evolution by single atom ruthenium

Changtai Zhao, Yan Tang, Chang Yu, Xinyi Tan, Mohammad Norouzi Banis, Shaofeng Li, Gang Wan, Huawei Huang, Lei Zhang, Huaixin Yang, Jun Li, Xueliang Sun, Jieshan Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

The surface electronic structure of transition-metal oxide catalysts plays a decisive role in binding the intermediates of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) to the oxide surface, in turn influencing the catalytic activity of these materials. However, the approaches to modulating the electronic structure of surface metal ions are rare and far behind the demands. Here, we report a surface single atom decoration for adjusting the surface electronic structure of Co3O4, leading to enhanced electrocatalytic activity for OER, in which the isolated Ru single atoms were uniformly deposited on the surface of Co3O4 by an atomic layer deposition technology. As the OER catalyst, the as-made catalysts have exhibited a significantly enhanced catalytic activity (with increasing to 95.5 times) and a dramatically decreased overpotential. The density functional theory calculations reveal that the single-atom Ru acts as a promotor to adjust the 3d electronic structure of adjacent Co atoms and to tune the binding energy between intermediates and activity sites, finally leading to enhanced catalytic activity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNano Today
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

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