In situ immobilizing atomically dispersed Ru on oxygen-defective Co3O4 for efficient oxygen evolution

Cheng-Zong Yuan, Shuo Wang, Kwan San Hui, Kaixi Wang, Junfeng Li, Haixing Gao, Chenyang Zha, Xiaomeng Zhang, Duc Anh Dinh, Xi-Lin Wu, Zikang Tang, Jiawei Wan, Zongping Shao, Kwun Nam Hui

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The synergistic regulation of the electronic structures of transition-metal oxide-based catalysts via oxygen vacancy defects and single-atom doping is efficient to boost their oxygen evolution reaction (OER) performance, which remains challenging due to complex synthetic procedures. Herein, a facile defect-induced in situ single-atom deposition strategy is developed to anchor atomically dispersed Ru single-atom onto oxygen vacancy-rich cobalt oxides (Ru/Co3O4–x) based on the spontaneous redox reaction between Ru3+ ions and nonstoichiometric Co3O4–x. Accordingly, the as-prepared Ru/Co3O4–x electrocatalyst with the coexistence of oxygen vacancies and Ru atoms exhibits excellent performances toward OER with a low overpotential of 280 mV at 10 mA cm–2, a small Tafel slope value of 86.9 mV dec–1, and good long-term stability in alkaline media. Furthermore, density functional theory calculations uncover that oxygen vacancy and atomically dispersed Ru could synergistically tailor electron decentralization and d-band center of Co atoms, further optimizing the adsorption of oxygen-based intermediates (*OH, *O, and *OOH) and reducing the reaction barriers of OER. This work proposes an available strategy for constructing electrocatalysts with abundant oxygen vacancies and atomically dispersed noble metal and presents a deep understanding of synergistic electronic engineering of transition-metal-based catalysts to boost oxygen evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2462-2471
Number of pages10
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number4
Early online date2 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023


  • defect-induced
  • electron decentralization
  • in situ deposition strategy
  • oxygen evolution reaction
  • oxygen vacancy defects
  • single-atom doping

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