Crystalline Cobalt Oxide Films for Sustained Electrocatalytic Oxygen Evolution under Strongly Acidic Conditions

Jared S. Mondschein, Juan F. Callejas, Carlos G. Read, Jamie Y.C. Chen, Cameron F. Holder, Catherine K. Badding, Raymond E. Schaak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Citations (SciVal)


Earth-abundant materials capable of catalyzing the electrochemical decomposition of water into molecular hydrogen and oxygen are necessary components of many affordable water-splitting technologies. However, water oxidation catalysts that facilitate sustained oxygen evolution at device-relevant current densities in strongly acidic electrolytes have been limited almost exclusively to precious metal oxides. Here, we show that nanostructured films of cobalt oxide (Co3O4) on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrates, made by first depositing Co onto FTO and heating in air at 400 °C to produce films having a robust electrical and mechanical Co3O4/FTO interface, function as active electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in 0.5 M H2SO4. The Co3O4/FTO electrodes evolve oxygen with near-quantitative Faradaic yields and maintain a current density of 10 mA/cm2 for over 12 h at a moderate overpotential of 570 mV. At lower current densities that require lower overpotentials, sustained oxygen production for several days and weeks can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-957
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 14 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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