Amorphization activated ruthenium-tellurium nanorods for efficient water splitting.

Author(s) Wang, J.; Han, L.; Huang, B.; Shao, Q.; Xin, H.L.; Huang, X.
Journal Nat Commun
Date Published 2019 12 12

Pursuing active and durable water splitting electrocatalysts is of vital significance for solving the sluggish kinetics of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) process in energy supply. Herein, theoretical calculations identify that the local distortion-strain effect in amorphous RuTe system abnormally sensitizes the Te-pπ coupling capability and enhances the electron-transfer of Ru-sites, in which the excellent inter-orbital p-d transfers determine strong electronic activities for boosting OER performance. Thus, a robust electrocatalyst based on amorphous RuTe porous nanorods (PNRs) is successfully fabricated. In the acidic water splitting, a-RuTe PNRs exhibit a superior performance, which only require a cell voltage of 1.52 V to reach a current density of 10 mA cm. Detailed investigations show that the high density of defects combine with oxygen atoms to form RuOH species, which are conducive to the OER. This work offers valuable insights for constructing robust electrocatalysts based on theoretical calculations guided by rational design and amorphous materials.

DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-13519-1
ISSN 2041-1723
Citation Nat Commun. 2019;10(1):5692.

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