Direct Observation of Active Nickel Oxide Cluster in Nickel–Borate Electrocatalyst for Water Oxidation by In Situ O K-Edge X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

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Department of Chemistry, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama 223-8522, Japan
Cooperative Research Fellow, Catalysis Research Center, Hokkaido University, Kita21, Nishi10, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021, Japan
§ Institute for Molecular Science, 38 Nishigo-Naka, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan
*Tel: +81-45-566-1592. Fax: +81-45-566-1697. E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. C 2015, 119, 33, 19279–19286
Publication Date (Web):July 31, 2015
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society
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In situ O K-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy was applied to investigate the electronic and structural change in the nickel–borate (Ni–Bi) electrocatalyst during the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). An absorption peak was observed around 528.7 eV at 1.0 V versus Ag/AgCl in a potassium borate aqueous solution, which relates with the formation of nanoscale order domains of edge-sharing NiO6 octahedra in the Ni–Bi electrocatalyst. XAFS spectra were measured with variation of the electrode potential from 0.3 up to 1.0 V. The measured absorption peaks suggest that the quantity of NiO6 octahedra increased in correlation with the OER current; however, when the potential was changed downward, the XAFS absorption peak assigned to NiO6 octahedra remained constant, even at the electrode potential for no OER current. This difference implies that the water oxidation catalysis proceeds at the domain edge of NiO6 octahedra. The XAFS technique provides the first successful direct probing of the active species in the Ni–Bi electrocatalyst during electrochemical reaction.

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  • Experimental procedures of in situ Ni K-edge XAFS, time course of current during electrodeposition and anodic oxidation, estimation of film thickness, in situ Ni K-edge XAFS spectra, and estimation of cation valence. (PDF)

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