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Continuous oxygen vacancy engineering of the Co₃O₄ layer for an enhanced alkaline electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction
- Zhang, Haoxuan, Zhang, Jiahao, Li, Yuhang, Jiang, Haibo, Jiang, Hao, Li, Chunzhong
- Journal of materials chemistry A 2019 v.7 no.22 pp. 13506-13510
- adsorption, catalysts, cobalt, cobalt oxide, electrochemistry, foams, hydrogen production, melting, melting point, nickel, oxygen, reaction kinetics
- Precisely tailoring the oxygen vacancies (Oᵥ) of Co oxide based electrocatalysts could be highly essential for boosting hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) performance in alkaline media. Here, a rapid synthesis of an Oᵥ-engineered Co₃O₄ layer on Ni foam has been demonstrated through a solid-phase melting strategy, where the Oᵥ content in the Co₃O₄ layer can be adjusted from 52% to 74% simply by changing melting temperature. After HER testing, this content is further adjusted to 22–45% with the same trend. Remarkably, the Co₃O₄ layer with a medium Oᵥ content (32%) gives the highest mass activity of −2.12 A g⁻¹ at an overpotential of 200 mV for the alkaline electrocatalytic HER. Moreover, it only requires an ultrasmall overpotential of 203 mV to achieve −100 mA cm⁻², outperforming all reported Co₃O₄ electrocatalysts so far. The medium Oᵥ content in the Co₃O₄ electrocatalyst could enhance reaction kinetics by optimizing catalytic intermediate adsorption during the alkaline HER. This feasible tactic to precisely control Oᵥ may provide an avenue for exploring other advanced electrocatalysts.