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A Fundamental Viewpoint on the Hydrogen Spillover Phenomenon of Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution


Hydrogen spillover phenomenon of metal-supported electrocatalysts can significantly impact their activity in hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, design of active electrocatalysts faces grand challenges due to the insufficient understandings on how to overcome this thermodynamically and kinetically adverse process. Here we theoretically profile that the interfacial charge accumulation induces by the large work function difference between metal and support (∆Φ) and sequentially strong interfacial proton adsorption construct a high energy barrier for hydrogen transfer. Theoretical simulations and control experiments rationalize that small ∆Φ induces interfacial charge dilution and relocation, thereby weakening interfacial proton adsorption and enabling efficient hydrogen spillover for HER. Experimentally, a series of Pt alloys-CoP catalysts with tailorable ∆Φ show a strong ∆Φ-dependent HER activity, in which PtIr/CoP with the smallest ∆Φ = 0.02 eV delivers the best HER performance. These findings have conclusively identified ∆Φ as the criterion in guiding the design of hydrogen spillover-based binary HER electrocatalysts

Funding source: China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M640994 and 2018T111034) and National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grants 21872109).
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain

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