Liquid-Metal-Mediated Electrocatalyst Support Engineering toward Enhanced Water Oxidation Reaction

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Functional and robust catalyst supports are vital in the catalysis field, and the development of universal and efficient catalyst support is essential but challenging. Traditional catalyst fabrication methods include the carbonization of ordered templates and high−temperature dehydration. All these methods involve complicated meso−structural disordering and allow little control over morphology. To this end, a eutectic GaInSn alloy (EGaInSn) was proposed and employed as an intermediate to fabricate low−dimensional ordered catalyst support materials. Owing to the lower Gibbs free energy of Ga2O3 compared to certain types of metals (e.g., Al, Mn, Ce, etc.), we found that a skinny layer of metal oxides could be formed and exfoliated into a two−dimensional nanosheet at the interface of liquid metal (LM) and water. As such, EGaInSn was herein employed as a reaction matrix to synthesize a range of two−dimensional catalyst supports with large specific surface areas and structural stability. As a proof−of-concept, Al2O3 and MnO were fabricated with the assistance of LM and were used as catalyst supports for loading Ru, demonstrating enhanced structural stability and overall electrocatalytic performance in the oxygen evolution reaction. This work opens an avenue for the development of functional support materials mediated by LM, which would play a substantial role in electrocatalytic reactions and beyond.

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Australian Research Council



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