The Role of Non-Metallic and Metalloid Elements on the Electrocatalytic Activity of Cobalt and Nickel Catalysts for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction

Masa, J. and Schuhmann, W.

Volume: 11 Pages: 5842-5854
DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201901151
Published: 2019

Compounds and alloys of cobalt and nickel with some nonmetals (N, P, S, Se) and metalloids (C, B, C, As and Te) have emerged as very promising noble metal-free pre-catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in alkaline electrolytes. However, the exact role played by the non-metals and metalloids in promoting the OER is not well understood. A holistic understanding of the origin of the OER activity enhancement in these compounds is vital for their exploitation as models to inspire knowledge-guided design of improved OER catalysts. In this review, we elucidate the factors that govern the activity and stability of OER catalysts derived from MX compounds (M=Co or Ni, and X=nonmetal or metalloid), including the impact of surface electronic structure, M : X stoichiometry, material composition, structure and crystallinity, as well as the role of oxoanions on the properties of the electrochemical double layer and interaction energies of the reaction intermediates. Finally, we outline a few perspectives and research directions towards a deeper understanding of the role of the nonmetal and metalloid elements and design of improved OER catalysts. ©2019 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

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