Electrochemical performance of iron-doped cobalt oxide hierarchical nanostructure


In this study, hydrothermally produced Fe-doped Co3O4 nanostructured particles are investigated as electrocatalysts for the water-splitting process and electrode materials for supercapac-itor devices. The results of the experiments demonstrated that the surface area, specific capacitance, and electrochemical performance of Co3O4 are all influenced by Fe3+ content. The FexCo3-xO4 with x = 1 sample exhibits a higher BET surface (87.45 m2/g) than that of the pristine Co3O4 (59.4 m2/g). Electrochemical measurements of the electrode carried out in 3 M KOH reveal a high specific capacitance of 153 F/g at a current density of 1 A/g for x = 0.6 and 684 F/g at a 2 mV/s scan rate for x = 1.0 samples. In terms of electrocatalytic performance, the electrode (x = 1.0) displayed a low overpotential of 266 mV (at a current density of 10 mA/cm2) along with 52 mV/dec Tafel slopes in the oxygen evolution reaction. Additionally, the overpotential of 132 mV (at a current density of 10 mA/cm2) and 109 mV with 52 mV/dec Tafel slope were obtained for x = 0.6 sample towards hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). According to electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements and the density functional theory (DFT) study, the addition of Fe3+ increased the conductivity at the electrode–electrolyte interface, which substantially impacted the high activity of the iron-doped cobalt oxide. The electrochemical results revealed that the mesoporous Fe-doped Co3O4 nanostructure could be used as potential electrode material in the high-performance electrochemical capacitor and water-splitting catalysts.

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