Single-atom metal (SA-M) catalysts with high dispersion of active metal sites allow maximum atomic utilization. Conventional synthesis of SA-M catalysts involves high-temperature treatments, leading to low yield with a random distribution of atoms. Herein, a nature-based facile method to synthesize SA-M catalysts (M = Fe, Ir, Pt, Ru, Cu, or Pd) in a single step at ambient temperature, using the extracellular electron transfer capability of Geobacter sulfurreducens (GS), is presented. Interestingly, the SA-M is coordinated to three nitrogen atoms adopting an MN3 on the surface of GS. Dry samples of SA-Ir@GS without further heat treatment show exceptionally high activity for oxygen evolution reaction when compared to benchmark IrO2 catalyst and comparable hydrogen evolution reaction activity to commercial 10 wt% Pt/C. The SA-Ir@GS exhibits the best water-splitting performance compared to other SA-M@GS, showing a low applied potential of 1.65 V to achieve 10 mA cm−2 in 1.0 M KOH with cycling over 5 h. The density functional calculations reveal that the large adsorption energy of H2O and moderate adsorption energies of reactants and reaction intermediates for SA-Ir@GS favorably improve its activity. This synthesis method at room temperature provides a versatile platform for the preparation of SA-M catalysts for various applications by merely altering the metal precursors.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Advanced Functional Materials|
|State||Published - Mar 15 2021|
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-03-25
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): URF/1/2985-01-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by Competitive Research Grant (URF/1/2985-01-01) from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to P.E.S. The authors thank the synchrotron facility at the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore, India. The authors are thankful to KAUST Supercomputing Core Lab.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics