Lindqvist Polyoxoniobate Ion-Assisted Electrodeposition of Cobalt and Nickel Water Oxidation Catalysts

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School of Chemistry and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia
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Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 7, 30, 16632–16644
Publication Date (Web):July 9, 2015
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society
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A method has been developed for the efficient electrodeposition of cobalt and nickel nanostructures with the assistance of the Lindqvist ion [Nb6O19]8–. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), Raman spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, and a range of electrochemical techniques have been used to characterize the morphology, composition, catalytic water oxidation activity and stability of the films in alkaline solution. SEM images show that films consisting of nanoparticles with diameters of ca. 30 to 40 nm are formed after 40–50 potential cycles of deposition. Nb and Co/Ni are detected in the films by EDX. ICP-MS results show an elemental ratio of 1:1 for Co:Nb and 1:3 for Ni:Nb, respectively. Raman spectra reveal the presence of both [Nb6O19]8– and Co(OH)2/Ni(OH)2. The films exhibit excellent stability and efficiency for electrocatalytic water oxidation in alkaline solution. Turnover frequencies of 12.9 and 13.2 s–1 were determined by rotating ring disk electrode voltammetry at an overpotential of 480 mV for Co and Ni films, respectively. Fourier transformed large amplitude alternating current (FTAC) voltammetry reveals an additional underlying oxidation process for Co under catalytic turnover conditions, which indicates that a CoIV species is involved in the efficient catalytic water oxidation reactions. FTAC voltammetric data also suggest that the Ni films undergoes a clear phase transformation upon aging in aqueous 1 M NaOH and the electrogenerated higher oxidation state Ni from β-NiOOH is the more active form of the catalyst.

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