Highly Oxidized Oxide Surface toward Optimum Oxygen Evolution Reaction by Termination Engineering
The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a critical step for sustainable fuel production through electrochemistry process. Maximizing active sites of nanocatalyst with enhanced intrinsic activity, especially the activation of lattice oxygen, is gradually recognized as the primary incentive. Since the surface reconfiguration to oxyhydroxide is unavoidable for oxygen-activated transition metal oxides, developing a surface termination like oxyhydroxide in oxides is highly desirable. In this work, we demonstrate an unusual surface termination of (111)-facet Co3O4 nanosheet that is exclusively containing edge-sharing octahedral Co3+ similar to CoOOH that can perform at approximately 40 times higher current density at 1.63 V (vs RHE) than commercial RuO2. It is found that this surface termination has an oxidized oxygen state in contrast to standard Co-O systems, which can serve as active site independently, breaking the scaling relationship limit. This work forwards the applications of oxide electrocatalysts in the energy conversion field by surface termination engineering.
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