Imaging Science and Photochemistry ›› 2015, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (5): 403-410.DOI: 10.7517/j.issn.1674-0475.2015.05.403

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Highly Active CuO Water Oxidation Catalyst Electrodeposited from a Copper(Ⅱ) Complex

CAI Rong1,2, FU Wenfu1   

  1. 1. Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, P. R. China
  • Received:2015-04-14 Revised:2015-05-26 Online:2015-09-16 Published:2015-09-16


Cu(Ⅱ) complex containing N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(2-hydroxyethyl)ethylenediamine and water ligands, [Cu(THEED)(H2O)]SO4, was synthesized and structurally characterized by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, elemental analysis and X-ray crystal analysis. Electrocatalytic investigation in basic NaOAc/NaOH solution with the complex found that a black film on the surface of anodic electrode was produced. Oxygen was formed and detected by GC analysis. The film was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, X-ray powder diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The experimental results revealed that the major component of the black solid is amorphous CuO. Further studies proved that [Cu(THEED)(H2O)]SO4 is a precursor, while CuO is the real water oxidation catalyst with high activity and stability. The catalytic performance of the film is demonstrated by longer term electrolysis at pH 12.4 and 1.35 V vs normal hydrogen electrode.The current density was retaining at 1.5 mA/cm2 at least 6 hours; about 97 μmol oxygen was produced after a 7.5 h electrolysis and 95% Faradaic efficiency was achieved.

Key words: N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(2-hydroxyethyl)ethylenediamine, Cu(Ⅱ) complex, CuO, eletrocatalysis, water oxidation