Atomic-Level Modulation of the Interface Chemistry of Platinum-Nickel Oxide toward Enhanced Hydrogen Electrocatalysis Kinetics
Precise manipulation of the interactions between different components represents the frontier of heterostructured electrocatalysts and is crucial to understanding the structure-function relationship. Current studies, however, are quite limited. Here, we report targeted modulation of the atomic-level interface chemistry of Pt/NiO heterostructure via an annealing treatment, which results in substantially enhanced hydrogen electrocatalysis kinetics in alkaline media. Specifically, the optimized Pt/NiO heterostructure delivers by far the highest specific exchange current density of 8.1 mA cmPt-2 for hydrogen oxidation reaction. X-ray spectroscopy results suggest Pt - Ni interfacial bonds are formed after annealing, inducing more significant electron transfer from NiO to Pt. Also, the regulated interface chemistry, as proven by theoretical calculations, optimizes the binding behaviors of hydrogen and hydroxyl species. These findings emphasize the importance of interface engineering at the atomic level and inspire further explorations of heterostructured electrocatalysts.
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