Research Article

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2021, 14(11): 4321−4327

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-021-3780-6

Tuning the oxidation state of Ru to surpass Pt in hydrogen evolution reaction

Rongpeng Ma1,2,§, Ying Wang3,§, Guoqiang Li1, Long Yang1, Shiwei Liu1, Zhao Jin1, Xiao Zhao4 (✉), Junjie Ge1,2 (✉), and Wei Xing1,2 (✉)


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1 State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Laboratory of Advanced Power Sources, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022, China
2 School of Applied Chemistry and Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
3 State Key Laboratory of Rare Earth Resource Utilization, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022, China
4 State Key Laboratory of Automotive Simulation and Control School of Materials Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory of Automobile Materials of MOE, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China


Keywords: RuP clusters, Ru oxidation state, hydrogen evolution, encapsulating/confining layers
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  • Abstract
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The high price of state-of-the-art Pt electrocatalysts has plagued the acidic water electrolysis technique for decades. As a cheaper alternative to Pt, ruthenium is considered an inferior hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalyst than Pt due to its high susceptibility to oxidation and loss of activity. Herein, we reveal that the HER activity on Ru based catalysts could surpass Pt via tuning Ru oxidation state. Specifically, RuP clusters encapsulated in few layers of N, P-doped carbon (RuP@NPC) display a minimum over potential of 15.6 mV to deliver 10 mA·cm−2. Moreover, we for the first time show that a Ru based catalyst could afford current density up to 4 A·cm−2 in a practical water electrolysis cell, with voltage even lower than the Pt/C-based cell, as well as high robustness during 200 h operation. Using a combination of experiment probing and calculation, we postulate that the suitably charged Ru (~ +2.4) catalytic center is the origin for its superior catalytic behavior. While the moderately charged Ru is empowered with optimized H adsorption behavior, the carbon encapsulation layers protect RuP clusters from over oxidation, thereby conferring the catalyst with high robustness.
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Tuning the oxidation state of Ru to surpass Pt in hydrogen evolution reaction. Nano Res. 2021, 14(11): 4321−4327 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-021-3780-6

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