Nanostructured Cobalt Oxide Clusters in Mesoporous Silica as Efficient Oxygen-Evolving Catalysts


  • This work was funded by the Helios Solar Energy Research Center, which is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. We acknowledge the support of the National Center for Electron Microscopy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Portions of this research were carried out at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, a national user facility operated by Stanford University on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The SSRL Structural Molecular Biology Program is supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources, Biomedical Technology Program. We thank Tim Davenport for gas adsorption measurements.


Light, inexpensive, effective: Nanostructured Co3O4 clusters (see picture) in mesoporous silica are the first example of a nanometer-sized multielectron catalyst made of a first-row transition-metal oxide that evolves oxygen from water efficiently. The nanorod bundle structure of the catalyst results in a very large surface area, an important factor contributing to the high turnover frequency.

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