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    Functionalized Co3O4 Graphitic Nanoparticles: A High Performance Electrocatalyst for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction

    Srinivasa, N, Shreenivasa, L, Adarakatti, PS, Crapnell, RD, Rowley-Neale, SJ, Siddaramanna, A and Banks, CE (2020) Functionalized Co3O4 Graphitic Nanoparticles: A High Performance Electrocatalyst for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 45 (56). pp. 31380-31388. ISSN 0360-3199

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    © 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC We describe a novel synthesis technique for the production of graphitic carbon functionalized Co3O4 (G/Co3O4), which involves the rapid decomposition of cobalt nitrate in the presence of citric acid. Upon immobilization of the G/Co3O4 upon Screen-Printed macroElectrodes (G/Co3O4-SPEs) the G/Co3O4-SPEs were found to exhibit remarkable electrocatalytic properties towards the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (OER). A detailed investigation has been carried out on the influence that the graphitization of the citric acid has, during the course of preparation of Co3O4, upon the ability of the G/Co3O4 to catalyse the OER within alkaline conditions (1.0 M KOH). The graphitization of citric acid ensures the uniform distribution of Co3O4 and enhanced conductivity with maximal exposure of active sites, which are the key parameters to delivering enhanced electrochemical activity. The G/Co3O4-SPEs exhibits an overpotential of 304 mV (recorded at 10 mA cm−2), a Tafel slope of 110 mV dec−1 and remain stable in its signal output (achievable current density) at varying temperatures (5–50 °C), and after 10 h of chronoamperometry in 1.0 M KOH. The G/Co3O4-SPE's OER activity was found to be superior to that of bulk and nano Co3O4. The results exhibited within this study will enable production of high-performance and environmentally benign electrocatalysts towards the OER for use within water splitting devices.

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