4 years ago

Hybrid Organic–Inorganic Transition-Metal Phosphonates as Precursors for Water Oxidation Electrocatalysts

Hybrid Organic–Inorganic Transition-Metal Phosphonates as Precursors for Water Oxidation Electrocatalysts
Nicola Pinna, Rui Zhang, Taeyeol Jeon, Ana G. Buzanich, Patrícia A. Russo
Efficient water oxidation catalysts are required for the development of water splitting technologies. Herein, the synthesis of layered hybrid NiFe-phenylphosphonate compounds from metal acetylacetonate precursors and phenylphosphonic acid in benzyl alcohol, and their oxygen evolution reaction performance in alkaline medium, are reported. The hybrid particles are formed by inorganic layers of NiO6 and FeO6 distorted octahedra separated by bilayers of the organic group, and template the formation in situ of NiFe hydroxide nanosheets of sizes between 5 and 25 nm and thicknesses between 3 and 10 nm. X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements suggest that the hybrid also acts as a template for the local structure of the metal sites in the active catalyst, which remain distorted after the transformation. Optimum electrocatalytic activity is achieved with the hybrid compound with a Fe content of 16%. The combination of the synergistic effect between Ni and Fe with the structural properties of the hybrid results in an efficient catalyst that generates a current density of 10 mA cm−2 at an overpotential of 240 mV, and also in a stable catalyst that operates continuously at low overpotentials for 160 h. Layered hybrid NiFe-phenylphosphonates with inorganic layers formed by distorted metal-centered octahedra are employed as precursors and in situ templates for water oxidation electrocatalysts. The activity arising from the synergistic effects between iron and nickel is further intensified by the distorted octahedral coordination environment around the metals in the NiFe hydroxide nanosheets produced in situ.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201703158

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