Structural Design of Amorphous CoMoPx with Abundant Active Sites and Synergistic Catalysis Effect for Effective Water Splitting

Huawei Huang, Ara Cho, Seongbeen Kim, Hyunwoo Jun, Ahryeon Lee, Jeong Woo Han, Jinwoo Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Herein, a structural design principle is presented to synthesize amorphous bimetallic phosphides (a-CoMoPx/CF) to efficiently catalyze water splitting. Porous Co-MOF/CF and defective CoMoO4/CF are used as structure-inducing templates to introduce rich defects and large voids that facilitate the formation of amorphous a-CoMoPx/CF. Theoretical calculations reveal a synergistic catalytic mechanism that is based on the bimetallic components. Hierarchical nanosheet arrays combined with amorphous structures provide a superior mass transfer capacity and fully exposed atoms, increasing the electrochemical active surface area (ECSA). The structural advantages and the synergistic catalytic effect of the bimetallic components generate a-CoMoPx/CF with excellent catalytic activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), displaying a very low overpotential of 59 mV and delivering a current density of 10 mA cm-2 under alkaline conditions. A full electrolysis apparatus with a-CoMoPx/CF as both cathode and anode shows a catalytic performance comparable to that of a noble metal-based catalyst set-up (Pt/C-CF // RuO2-CF), achieving 10 mA cm-2 at a potential of 1.581 V and stable operation at 100 mA cm-2 for more than 100 h. These findings provide a novel concept to design stable structured catalysts based on earth-abundant elements for the large-scale application of electrocatalysis processes related to energy conversion technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2003889
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • amorphous structures
  • hydrogen evolution
  • nanosheets
  • porous materials
  • water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomaterials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry


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