Research Article Issue
Electronic engineering of Co-Ru diatomic sites and Ru nanoparticles for synergistic promotion of hydrogen evolution
Nano Research 2024, 17 (5): 3714-3723
Published: 20 November 2023

The coexistence of multi-component active sites like single-atom sites, diatomic sites (DAS) and nanoclusters is shown to result in superior performances in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Metal diatomic sites are more complex than single-atom sites but their unique electronic structures can lead to significant enhancement of the HER kinetics. Although the synthesis and identification of DAS is usually challenging, we report a simple access to a diatomic catalyst by anchoring Co-Ru DAS on nitrogen-doped carbon supports along with Ru nanoparticles (NPs). Experimental and theoretical results revealed the atomic-level characteristics of Co-Ru sites, their strong electronic coupling and their synergy with Ru NPs within the catalyst. The unique electronic structure of the catalyst resulted in an excellent HER activity and stability in alkaline media. This work provides a valuable insight into a widely applicable design of diatomic catalysts with multi-component active sites for highly efficient HER electrocatalysis.

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