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Hollow Co3O4/CeO2 Heterostructures in Situ Embedded in N‑Doped Carbon Nanofibers Enable Outstanding Oxygen Evolution

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posted on 2019-10-24, 19:12 authored by Tongfei Li, Sulin Li, Qianyu Liu, Yechao Tian, Yiwei Zhang, Gengtao Fu, Yawen Tang
Exploring highly efficient and cost-effective electrocatalysts with more feasible synthesis strategies toward oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is highly desirable for a broad range of advanced sustainable energy conversion systems. Herein, we develop a feasible electrospinning strategy for the facile fabrication of a Co3O4/CeO2 heterostructure in situ embedded in N-doped carbon nanofibers (h-Co3O4/CeO2@N-CNFs) as a high-performance electrocatalyst for the OER. Unlike previously reported Co3O4/CeO2 composites, the as-prepared Co3O4/CeO2 heterostructure presents hollow and porous features. The nanopores can develop within Co3O4/CeO2 nanocrystals with an analogous mechanism to void formation in the Kirkendall effect. Electrochemical measurements demonstrate that h-Co3O4/CeO2@N-CNFs can enable high OER activity with a low overpotential of 310 mV to achieve 10 mA cm–2 current density and good stability that can maintain 40 000 s without perceptible attenuation, outperforming those of the commercial RuO2 catalyst. The outstanding OER performance originates from the important synergies by combining hollow Co3O4/CeO2 heterostructures and three-dimensional porous N-CNF networks.

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