International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.39, No.36, 21024-21036, 2014
Development of shape-engineered alpha-MnO2 materials as bi-functional catalysts for oxygen evolution reaction and oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline medium
In this work, three kinds of alpha-MnO2 nano shapes, namely, nano-wires, nano-tubes and nano-particles have been prepared with a fine control over alpha-crystallographic form by employing hydrothermal procedure. The materials have been thoroughly characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) spectrometry, field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) techniques. The MnO2 nano shapes are used as a model system for examining the shape-influenced bifunctional electrocatalytic activity towards oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline medium. The bi-functional role has been investigated by cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry with rotating ring disc electrode (RRDE) techniques. It is found that alpha-MnO2 nano-wires possess enhanced electrocatalytic activity compared to other two shapes namely nano-tubes and nano-particles despite the nano-tubes having a much higher specific surface area. The insight of bi-functional electrocatalytic activity is analysed in terms of catalyst surface with the help of first principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations based on the fact of surface energies and adsorption of water on the surface for a facile reaction. Copyright (c) 2014, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.