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Journal of Electrochemistry ›› 2017, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 159-169.doi: 10.13208/j.electrochem.161247

• Special Issue in Honor of Professor Zhaowu Tian on His 90th Birthday • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparative Studies of Fe, Ni, Co and Their Bimetallic Nanoparticles for Electrochemical Water Oxidation

Maduraiveeran Govindhan, Brennan Mao, Aicheng Chen*   

  1. Department of Chemistry, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1, Canada
  • Received:2016-12-02 Revised:2017-03-21 Online:2017-04-28 Published:2017-03-22
  • Contact: Aicheng Chen E-mail:aicheng.chen@lakeheadu.ca
  • Supported by:

    This research was supported by the Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC RGPIN-2015-06248). A. Chen acknowledges NSERC and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for the Canada Research Chair Award in Materials and Environmental Chemistry.


The design of efficient, durable, and earth-abundant electrocatalysts via environmentally compatible strategies for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a vital for energy conversion processes. Herein we report a facile approach for the fabrication of low-cost and earth abundant metal catalysts, including iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), CoNi, and CoFe nanoparticles (NPs) on titanium (Ti) substrates through a one-step electrochemical deposition. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectrocopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and electrochemical techniques were employed to characterize these nanoparticles. Our electrochemical results revealed that among the five synthesized nanomaterials, the Ti/Co electrode exhibited the highest electrocatalytic activity toward OER in 0.l mol·L-1 KOH with a current density of 10.0 mA·cm-2 at 0.70 V vs. Ag/AgCl. The optimized Ti/Co electrode exhibited a small overpotential (η) of 0.43 V at 10.0 mA·cm-2 and a high mass activity of 105.7 A·g-1 with a turnover frequency (TOF) value of 1.63×10-3 s-1, which are comparable to the values obtained with the state-of-the-art Pt/C and RuO2 electrocatalysts. In addition, the durability of the optimized Ti/Co electrode was tested using a chronopotentiometric technique, which revealed that the developed electrocatalyst possessed good stability for OER in an alkaline solution. The high catalytic activity, high stability, earth abundance, cost-effectiveness, and easy scale-up for mass production make the Co nanoparticles, which were electrochemically deposited on a Ti substrate, promising for industrial water splitting

Key words: cobalt nanoparticle, electrochemical deposition, electrocatalyst, oxygen evolution reaction, energy conversion

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