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Au1Co1 Alloy Supported on Graphene Oxide with Enhanced Performance for Ambient Electrolysis of Nitrogen to Ammonia

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-12-24, 21:29 authored by Qiqi Wang, Guokui Zheng, Shaoyun Hao, Xiangnan Liu, Jia Zheng, Yahui Wang, Zhiwei Su, Nan Xu, Yi He, Lecheng Lei, Xingwang Zhang
Designing efficient electrocatalysts with optimized elements and compositions is of great significance for enhancing the performance of the electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR). Herein we synthesized the alloyed Au1Co1 (atomic ratio Au/Co = 1) nanoparticles dispersed on graphene oxide (GO), which was applied to the NRR in K2SO4 electrolyte under ambient conditions. Benefiting from the optimized elemental composition and synergistic interactions of Au and Co, the prepared Au1Co1@GO exhibited superior electrocatalytic performance with a 36.82 μg h–1 mgcat.–1 NH3 yield and 22.03% faradaic efficiency of −0.2 V (vs RHE). Density functional theory calculations revealed that alloyed Co into Au could effectively decrease the nitrogen adsorption free energy and activate the NN bond, confirming that the Au1Co1 alloy effectively catalyzes the N2 reduction to NH3.