Performance of Nanostructured Ternary Metal Spinel Oxides as Efficient Electrocatalysts
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In this work, various spinel oxides, namely Ni1-xCuxCo2O4 (0 x 0.75), Fey(Ni/Cu)x-y Co3-xO4 [(0.5 x 1), (0.1 y 0.15)] have been prepared on Fluorine coated Tin Oxide (FTO) glass by the thermal decomposition method. The films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and cyclic voltammetry (CV), to link the surface morphology, stoichiometric composition, spinel phase information, and electrocatalytic activity. The SEM analysis shows that the prepared spinel oxide electrodes are uniformly distributed over the substrate and can be quite porous. The formation of a spinel structure was confirmed by XRD analysis for all our samples and their composition is, with a few exceptions, very close to the expected one. In our Ni1-xCuxCo2O4 (0 x 0.75) samples, an increase of lattice parameter with the increase of copper content was observed. The modification of cobalt-based electrodes to form FeyCux-yCo3-xO4 [(0.5 x 1), (0.1 y 0.15)] enhances their catalytic activity towards the oxygen evolution reaction in an alkaline media as confirmed by CV. The Fe0.1Cu0.9Co2O4 shows the highest current density of 0.45 mA/cm2 at 900 mV among all other electrodes studied. The correlation between composition, surface morphology, phase information, and electrocatalytic activity is discussed in this thesis. Finally, all ternary spinel oxide samples will be compared with those of binary spinel oxide prepared in the Morin group and other materials prepared in the literature.