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Boosting the Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation Performance of CoFe2O4 Nanoparticles by Surface Defect Engineering

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journal contribution
posted on 09.01.2019, 00:00 by Gang Ou, Fengchi Wu, Kai Huang, Naveed Hussain, Di Zu, Hehe Wei, Binghui Ge, Huizhen Yao, Lai Liu, Henan Li, Yumeng Shi, Hui Wu
Spinel oxides have attracted widespread interest for electrocatalytic applications owing to their unique crystal structure and properties. The surface structure of spinel oxides significantly influences the electrocatalytic performance of spinel oxides. Herein, we report a Li reduction strategy that can quickly tune the surface structure of CoFe2O4 (CFO) nanoparticles and optimize its electrocatalytic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) performance. Results show that a large number of defective domains have been successfully introduced at the surface of CFO nanopowders after Li reduction treatment. The defective CFO nanoparticles demonstrate significantly improved electrocatalytic OER activity. The OER potential observed a negative shift from 1.605 to 1.513 V at 10 mA cm–2, whereas the Tafel slope is greatly decreased to 42.1 mV dec–1 after 4 wt % Li reduction treatment. This efficient Li reduction strategy can also be applied to engineer the surface defect structure of other material systems and broaden their applications.