EQCM Investigation of Electrochemical Deposition and Stability of Co–Pi Oxygen Evolution Catalyst of Solar Energy Storage

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Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India
*E-mail [email protected]; Tel +91-80-22933183.
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. C 2013, 117, 16, 8001–8008
Publication Date (Web):March 28, 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society
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Photoassisted electrolysis of water is considered as an effective way of storing solar energy in the form of hydrogen fuel. This overall reaction involves the oxidation of water to oxygen at the anode and the reduction of protons to hydrogen at the cathode. Cobalt–phosphate-based catalyst (Co–Pi) is a potentially useful material for oxygen evolution reaction. In the present study, electrochemical deposition of Co–Pi catalyst is carried out on Au-coated quartz crystal from 0.1 M phosphate buffer (pH 7) containing 0.5 mM Co2+ ion, along with the simultaneous measurement of mass changes at the electrode surface. Cyclic voltammograms and mass variations are recorded during the course of deposition. A current peak is observed at 0.92 V vs Ag/AgCl, 3 M KCl corresponding to oxidation of Co2+ ion. The mass of the electrode starts increasing at this potential, suggesting the deposition of a Co(III)-based insoluble product on the electrode surface. The stability of the catalyst is also studied at several potentials in both buffered and nonbuffered electrolyte by monitoring the real-time mass variations.

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Cyclic voltammograms and mas variations of Au-coated quartz crystal in 0.1 M phosphate buffer (pH 7) at 25 mV s–1 (Figure S1a,b) and at 50 mV s–1 (Figure S1c,d); variations in the motional resistance of the quartz crystal with potential (Figure S2a) and with time of deposition (Figure S2b); mass variation of Co–Pi-coated (1.7 μg) Au electrode in 0.1 M K2SO4 at 0.60 V (Figure S3a) and at 1.60 V (Figure S3b); slow scan rate linear sweep voltammograms of Au foil electrode (1 cm2) and corresponding Tafel plots (Figure S4). This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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