Impact of Single-Pulse, Low-Intensity Laser Post-Processing on Structure and Activity of Mesostructured Cobalt Oxide for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction.
ABSTRACT: Herein, we report nanosecond, single-pulse laser post-processing (PLPP) in a liquid flat jet with precise control of the applied laser intensity to tune structure, defect sites, and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity of mesostructured Co3O4. High-resolution X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) are consistent with the formation of cobalt vacancies at tetrahedral sites and an increase in the lattice parameter of Co3O4 after the laser treatment. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) further reveal increased disorder in the structure and a slight decrease in the average oxidation state of the cobalt oxide. Molecular dynamics simulation confirms the surface restructuring upon laser post-treatment on Co3O4. Importantly, the defect-induced PLPP was shown to lower the charge transfer resistance and boost the oxygen evolution activity of Co3O4. For the optimized sample, a 2-fold increment of current density at 1.7 V vs RHE is obtained and the overpotential at 10 mA/cm2 decreases remarkably from 405 to 357 mV compared to pristine Co3O4. Post-mortem characterization reveals that the material retains its activity, morphology, and phase structure after a prolonged stability test.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC8587604 | BioStudies |