Jump to Main Content
Electronic structure engineering of single atomic Ru by Ru nanoparticles to enable enhanced activity for alkaline water reduction
- Hu, Qi, Li, Guomin, Huang, Xiaowan, Wang, Ziyu, Yang, Hengpan, Zhang, Qianling, Liu, Jianhong, He, Chuanxin
- Journal of materials chemistry A 2019 v.7 no.33 pp. 19531-19538
- alkalinity, carbon, catalysts, electrochemistry, engineering, hydrogen production, hydrophilicity, nanoparticles, platinum, potassium hydroxide, water
- Regulation of the electronic structures of metal centers represents a robust strategy for enhancing the activity of electrocatalysts. Herein, we report the crafting of hybrid electrocatalysts comprising both single atomic Ru (SA-Ru) and Ru nanoparticles (NPs) supported on porous N-doped carbon (PC), in which the electronic structures of SA-Ru were effectively optimized by nearby Ru NPs to achieve great enhancement of the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). The resulting SA-Ru/Ru NPs/PC displayed ultrahigh activity for HER in 1 M KOH with a mass activity of 4.2 mA μgRᵤ⁻¹ at −0.07 V vs. RHE; this activity was 14 times that of commercial Pt/C, representing the largest reported value among the Pt-free electrocatalysts. In addition to the ultrahigh activity, the composite possessed the outstanding stability of 24 h and rapid HER kinetics (i.e. Tafel slope: 31.8 mV dec⁻¹). The experimental and theoretical results matched well with each other and unambiguously indicated that the control over the electronic structures of SA-Ru and the advantageous PC support (i.e. its hierarchical porous nanostructures and superhydrophilic surface) jointly contributed to the exceptional performance.