Amorphous Cobalt Oxide Nanoparticles as Active Water-Oxidation Catalysts

Zheng Chen, Zhiyao Duan, Zhiliang Wang, Xiaoyan Liu, Lin Gu, Fuxiang Zhang, Michel Dupuis, Can Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Artificial photosynthesis requires the practical use of efficient, robust, and economical water-oxidation catalysts (WOCs) for chemical-fuel production. The synthesis of amorphous cobalt oxide nanoparticles (ca. 2 nm) is reported as a WOC with a turnover frequency up to 8.6 s−1 in the photocatalytic Ru(bpy)3 2+–Na2S2O8 system (bpy=2,2′-bipyridyl). This activity is unprecedented in heterogeneous cobalt-based WOCs and is even comparable to that of a state-of-the-art homogeneous cobalt-based polyoxometalate catalyst. With the help of experimental and computational X-ray absorption spectroscopy, the atomic structure of the synthesized amorphous cobalt oxide nanoparticles was characterized, and it consists of a one-dimensional chain of dimeric edge-sharing CoO6 octahedra. Theoretical calculations suggest that this structure was able to promote O−O bond coupling, unlike crystalline cobalt oxide WOCs, which led to the enhanced water-oxidation activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3641-3645
Number of pages5
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 10 2017


  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy
  • amorphous materials
  • cobalt
  • oxidation
  • water chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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