Hydrogen has enormous potential as a clean energy carrier. While the electrochemical reduction of water is a straightforward process, the commonly used platinum catalysts are expensive. Non-noble metal compounds could be promising and economical alternatives.
Ru-Shi Liu, National Taiwan University, Taipei, and colleagues have developed a cheaper, yet efficient and stable electrocatalyst: CoTe2 nanoparticles. The team synthesized marcasite-type cobalt ditelluride using hydrothermal methods. The resulting particles had diameters of 20 to 50 nm and were used to coat electrodes. The catalytic activity was measured in dilute H2SO4 electrolyte solutions.
The catalyst was stable for over two days and showed a relatively low overpotential for the hydrogen evolution reaction. According to the researchers, the material could be used for solar water splitting.
- The CoTe2 nanostructure: an efficient and robust catalyst for hydrogen evolution,
Tzu-Hsiang Lu, Chih-Jung Chen, Mrinmoyee Basu, Chong-Geng Ma, Ru-Shi Liu,
Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 17012–17015.