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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jul 11;134(27):11096-9. doi: 10.1021/ja303826a. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Elucidating the domain structure of the cobalt oxide water splitting catalyst by X-ray pair distribution function analysis.

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Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.


Pair distribution function (PDF) analysis was applied for structural characterization of the cobalt oxide water-splitting catalyst films using high energy X-ray scattering. The catalyst was found to be composed of domains consistent with a cobalt dioxide lattice sheet structure, possibly containing a Co(4)O(4) cubane-type "defect". The analysis identifies the film to consist of domains composed of 13-14 cobalt atoms with distorted coordination geometries that can be modeled by alteration in terminal oxygen atom positions at the domain edge. Phosphate is seen as a disordered component in the films. This work establishes an approach that can be applied to study the structure of in situ cobalt oxide water-splitting film under functional catalytic conditions.


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