Controlling Chemical Selectivity in Electrocatalysis with Chiral CuO-Coated Electrodes

K. B. Ghosh, Wenyan Zhang, F. Tassinari, Y. Mastai, O. Lidor-Shalev, R. Naaman, P. Möllers, D. Nürenberg, H. Zacharias, J. Wei, E. Wierzbinski, D. H. Waldeck

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61 Scopus citations


This work demonstrates the chiral-induced spin selectivity effect for inorganic copper oxide films and exploits it to enhance the chemical selectivity in electrocatalytic water splitting. Chiral CuO films are electrodeposited on a polycrystalline Au substrate, and their spin filtering effect on electrons is demonstrated using Mott polarimetry analysis of photoelectrons. CuO is known to act as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction; however, it also generates side products such as H 2 O 2 . We show that chiral CuO is selective for O 2 ; H 2 O 2 generation is strongly suppressed on chiral CuO but is present with achiral CuO. The selectivity is rationalized in terms of the electron spin-filtering properties of the chiral CuO and the spin constraints for the generation of triplet oxygen. These findings represent an important step toward the development of all-inorganic chiral materials for electron spin filtering and the creation of efficient, spin-selective (photo)electrocatalysts for water splitting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3024-3031
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number5
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
D.H.W. acknowledges support from United States National Science Foundation Grant CHE-1464701. R.N. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under European Union’s Seventh Framework Program FP7/2007- 2013/ERC Grant 338720 CISS (chiral-induced spin selectivity). R.N. and H.Z. are grateful for partial funding by the Volkswagen Foundation via Grants 93454 and 93451, respectively. W.Y.Z. acknowledges the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51802130).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.


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