The development of efficient and stable water oxidation catalysts is necessary for the realization of practically viable water-splitting systems. Although extensive studies have focused on the metal-oxide catalysts, the effect of metal coordination on the catalytic ability remains still elusive. Here we select four cobalt-based phosphate catalysts with various cobalt- and phosphate-group coordination as a platform to better understand the catalytic activity of cobalt-based materials. Although they exhibit various catalytic activities and stabilities during water oxidation, Na 2 CoP 2 O 7 with distorted cobalt tetrahedral geometry shows high activity comparable to that of amorphous cobalt phosphate under neutral conditions, along with high structural stability. First-principles calculations suggest that the surface reorganization by the pyrophosphate ligand induces a highly distorted tetrahedral geometry, where water molecules can favourably bind, resulting in a low overpotential (1/40.42 €‰eV). Our findings emphasize the importance of local cobalt coordination in the catalysis and suggest the possible effect of polyanions on the water oxidation chemistry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)