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Voltage- and time-dependent valence state transition in cobalt oxide catalysts during the oxygen evolution reaction

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Tjeng,  L. H.
Liu Hao Tjeng, Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Hu,  Zhiwei
Zhiwei Hu, Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Zhou, J., Zhang, L., Huang, Y.-C., Dong, C.-L., Lin, H.-J., Chen, C.-T., et al. (2020). Voltage- and time-dependent valence state transition in cobalt oxide catalysts during the oxygen evolution reaction. Nature Communications, 11: 1984, pp. 1-10. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-15925-2.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-52DB-7
Abstract
The ability to determine the electronic structure of catalysts during electrochemical reactions is highly important for identification of the active sites and the reaction mechanism. Here we successfully applied soft X-ray spectroscopy to follow in operando the valence and spin state of the Co ions in Li2Co2O4 under oxygen evolution reaction (OER) conditions. We have observed that a substantial fraction of the Co ions undergo a voltage-dependent and time-dependent valence state transition from Co3+ to Co4+ accompanied by spontaneous delithiation, whereas the edge-shared Co–O network and spin state of the Co ions remain unchanged. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the highly oxidized Co4+ site, rather than the Co3+ site or the oxygen vacancy site, is mainly responsible for the high OER activity. © 2020, The Author(s).