Transition Metal-Modified Zirconium Phosphate Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction

Joel Sanchez, Mario V. Ramos-Garcés, Ieva Narkeviciute, Jorge L. Colón, Thomas F. Jaramillo
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Zirconium phosphate (ZrP), an inorganic layered nanomaterial, is currently being investigated as a catalyst support for transition metal-based electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Two metal-modified ZrP catalyst systems were synthesized: metal-intercalated ZrP and metal-adsorbed ZrP, each involving Fe(II), Fe(III), Co(II), and Ni(II) cations. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to characterize the composite materials and confirm the incorporation of the metal cations either between the layers or on the surface of ZrP. Both types of metal-modified systems were examined for their catalytic activity for the OER in 0.1 M KOH solution. All metal-modified ZrP systems were active for the OER. Trends in activity are discussed as a function of the molar ratio in relation to the two types of catalyst systems, resulting in overpotentials for metal-adsorbed ZrP catalysts that were less than, or equal to, their metal-intercalated counterparts. 

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