One-Step Synthesis of a Binder-Free, Stable, and High-Performance Electrode; Cu-O|Cu3P Heterostructure for the Electrocatalytic Methanol Oxidation Reaction (MOR)

Alina Yarmolenko, Bibhudatta Malik, Efrat Shawat Avraham, Gilbert Daniel Nessim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) have been spotlighted in the past decade, their commercialization has been hampered by the poor efficiency of the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) due to the unsatisfactory performance of currently available electrocatalysts. Herein, we developed a binder-free, copper-based, self-supported electrode consisting of a heterostructure of Cu3P and mixed copper oxides, i.e., cuprous–cupric oxide (Cu-O), as a high-performance catalyst for the electro-oxidation of methanol. We synthesized a self-supported electrode composed of Cu-O|Cu3P using a two-furnace atmospheric pressure–chemical vapor deposition (AP-CVD) process. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed the formation of 3D nanocrystals with defects and pores. Cu-O|Cu3P outperformed the MOR activity of individual Cu3P and Cu-O owing to the synergistic interaction between them. Cu3P|Cu-O exhibited a highest anodic current density of 232.5 mAcm−2 at the low potential of 0.65 V vs. Hg/HgO, which is impressive and superior to the electrocatalytic activity of its individual counterparts. The formation of defects, 3D morphology, and the synergistic effect between Cu3P and Cu-O play a crucial role in facilitating the electron transport between electrode and electrolyte to obtain the optimal MOR activity. Cu-O|Cu3P shows outstanding MOR stability for about 3600 s with 100% retention of the current density, which proves its robustness alongside CO intermediate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1234
JournalNanomaterials
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • chemical vapor deposition
  • heterostructure
  • methanol oxidation reaction
  • self-standing electrode
  • synergistic effect

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