Amorphization activated ruthenium-tellurium nanorods for efficient water splitting
Juan Wang1,4, Lili Han2,4, Bolong Huang 3*（黄勃龙）, Qi Shao1 , Huolin L. Xin 2 & Xiaoqing Huang1 *（黄小青）
1 College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, 215123 Jiangsu, China.
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
3 Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR.
4 These authors contributed equally: Juan Wang, Lili Han.
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS， (2019) 10:5692
Pursuing active and durable water splitting electrocatalysts is of vital significance for solving the sluggish kinetics of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) process in energy supply. Herein, theoretical calculations identify that the local distortion-strain effect in amorphous RuTe2 system abnormally sensitizes the Te-pπ coupling capability and enhances the electrontransfer of Ru-sites, in which the excellent inter-orbital p-d transfers determine strong electronic activities for boosting OER performance. Thus, a robust electrocatalyst based on amorphous RuTe2 porous nanorods (PNRs) is successfully fabricated. In the acidic water splitting, a-RuTe2 PNRs exhibit a superior performance, which only require a cell voltage of 1.52 V to reach a current density of 10 mA cm−2. Detailed investigations show that the high density of defects combine with oxygen atoms to form RuOxHy species, which are conducive to the OER. This work offers valuable insights for constructing robust electrocatalysts based on theoretical calculations guided by rational design and amorphous materials.