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Atomic-scale CoOx Species in Metal-organic Frameworks for Oxygen Evolution Reaction
S. Dou, C.-L. Dong, Z. Hu, Y.-C. Huang, J.-L. Chen, L. Tao, D. Yan, D. Chen, S. Shen*, S. Chou*, and S. Wang*


The activity of electrocatalysts strongly depends on the number of active sites, which can be increased by downsizing electrocatalysts. Single-atom catalysts have attracted special attention due to atomic-scale active sites. However, it is a huge challenge to obtain atomic-scale CoOx catalysts. The Co-based metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) own atomically dispersed Co ions, which motivates to design a possible pathway to partially on-site transform these Co ions to active atomic-scale CoOx species, while reserving the highly porous features of MOFs. In this work, for the first time, the targeted on-site formation of atomic-scale CoOx species is realized in ZIF-67 by O2 plasma. The abundant pores in ZIF-67 provide channels for O2 plasma to activate the Co ions in MOFs to on-site produce atomic-scale CoOx species, which act as the active sites to catalyze the oxygen evolution reaction with an even better activity than RuO2.

Adv. Funct. Mater. 27 , 1702546 (2017)