Open Access Research Article Issue
Coupling of ultrasmall and small CoxP nanoparticles confined in porous SiO2 matrix for a robust oxygen evolution reaction
Nano Materials Science 2022, 4 (4): 393-399
Published: 14 April 2022

Rational design of electrocatalysts is important for a sustainable oxygen evolution reaction (OER). It is still a huge challenge to engineer active sites in multi-sizes and multi-components simultaneously. Here, a series of CoP nanoparticles (NPs) confined in an SiO2 matrix (SiO2/CoxP) is designed and synthesized as OER electrocatalysts. The phosphorization of the hydrolyzed Co-phyllosilicate promotes the formation of ultrasmall and small Co2P and CoP. These are firmly confined in the SiO2 matrix. The coupling of multi-size and multi-component CoP catalysts can regulate reaction kinetics and electron transfer ability, enrich the active sites, and eventually promote the intrinsic OER activity. The SiO2 matrix provides abundant porous structure and oxygen vacancies, and these facilitate the exposure of active sites and improve conductivity. Because of the synergy and interplay of multi-sized/component CoxP NPs and the porous SiO2 matrix, the unique SiO2/CoP heterostructure exhibits low overpotential (293 ​mV@10 ​mA ​cm-2), and robust stability (decay 12 ​mV after 5000 CV cycles, 97.4% of initial current after 100 ​h chronoamperometric) for the OER process, exceeding many advanced metal phosphide electrocatalysts. This work provides a novel tactic to design low-cost, simple, and highly efficient OER electrocatalysts.

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