Photo-Electrochemical Oxygen Evolution Reaction by Biomimetic CaMn2O4 Catalyst
Calcium manganese oxide catalysts are a new class of redox catalysts with significant importance because of their structural similarity to natural oxygen-evolving complex in plant cells and the earth-abundant elemental constituents. In the present study, the photo-electrocatalytic properties of CaMn2O4 in water-splitting were investigated. CaMn2O4 powders with irregular shapes and nanowire shapes were synthesised using mechanochemical processing and a hydrothermal method, respectively. The anode in a photo-electrochemical cell was fabricated by embedding CaMn2O4 powders within polypyrrole. The results showed that CaMn2O4 induced a higher dark and light current in comparison to the control sample (polypyrrole alone). CaMn2O4 nanowires exhibited higher dark and light current in comparison to irregular-shaped CaMn2O4 powders. The difference was attributable to the higher surface area of nanowires compared to the irregular-shaped particles, rather than the difference in exposed crystal facets.