The decoration of (photo)electrodes for efficient photoresponse requires the use of electrocatalysts with good dispersion and high transparency for efficient light absorption by the photoelectrode. As a result of the ease of thermal evaporation and particulate self-assembly growth, the phthalocyanine molecular species can be uniformly deposited layer-by-layer on the surface of substrates. This structure can be used as a template to achieve a tunable amount of catalysts, high dispersion of the nanoparticles, and transparency of the catalysts. In this study, we present a systematic study of the structural and optical properties, surface morphologies, and electrochemical oxygen evolution reaction (OER) performance of cobalt oxide prepared from a phthalocyanine metal precursor. Cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPc) films with different thicknesses were deposited by thermal evaporation on different substrates. The films were annealed at 400 °C in air to form a material with the cobalt oxide phase. The final Co oxide catalysts exhibit high transparency after thermal treatment. Their OER measurements demonstrate well expected mass activity for OER. Thermally evaporated and treated transition metal oxide nanoparticles are attractive for the functionalization of (photo)anodes for water oxidation.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The authors thank Dr. Natalia Morlanes, Amal Baqais, and Dattatray Dhawale at KAUST for help in performing contact angle, ICP-MS measurements, and TEM images.