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Regulating Water-Reduction Kinetics in Cobalt Phosphide for Enhancing HER Catalytic Activity in Alkaline Solution
2017-09-12
Advanced Materials 29(28):1606980 Jul 2017

Xu, Kun; Ding, Hui; Zhang, Mengxing; Chen, Min; Hao, Zikai; Zhang, Lidong; Wu, Changzheng; Xie, Yi

Abstract:
Electrochemical water splitting to produce hydrogen renders a promising pathway for renewable energy storage. Considering limited electrocatalysts have good oxygen-evolution reaction (OER) catalytic activity in acid solution while numerous economical materials show excellent OER catalytic performance in alkaline solution, developing new strategies that enhance the alkaline hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) catalytic activity of cost-effective catalysts is highly desirable for achieving highly efficient overall water splitting. Herein, it is demonstrated that synergistic regulation of water dissociation and optimization of hydrogen adsorption free energy on electrocatalysts can significantly promote alkaline HER catalysis. Using oxygen-incorporated Co2P as an example, the synergistic effect brings about 15-fold enhancement of alkaline HER activity. Theory calculations confirm that the water dissociation free energy of Co2P decreases significantly after oxygen incorporation, and the hydrogen adsorption free energy can also be optimized simultaneously. The finding suggests the powerful effectiveness of synergetic regulation of water dissociation and optimization of hydrogen adsorption free energy on electrocatalysts for alkaline HER catalysis.

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