High Performance Electrocatalytic Reaction of Hydrogen and Oxygen on Ruthenium Nanoclusters

Yuanyue Liu, Suhuai Wei, Ruquan Ye, Zhiwei Peng, Tuo Wang, Almaz Jalilov, Boris Yakobson, James Tour

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105 Scopus Citations


The development of catalytic materials for the hydrogen oxidation, hydrogen evolution, oxygen reduction or oxygen evolution reactions with high reaction rates and low overpotentials are key goals for the development of renewable energy. We report here Ru(0) nanoclusters supported on nitrogen-doped graphene as high-performance multifunctional catalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), showing activities similar to that of commercial Pt/C in alkaline solution. For HER performance in alkaline media, sample Ru/NG-750 reaches 10 mA cm-2 at an overpotential of 8 mV with a Tafel slope of 30 mV dec-1. The high HER performance in alkaline solution is advantageous because most catalysts for ORR and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) also prefer alkaline solution environment whereas degrade in acidic electrolytes. For ORR performance, Ru/NG effectively catalyzes the conversion of O2 into OH- via a 4e process at a current density comparable to that of Pt/C. The unusual catalytic activities of Ru(0) nanoclusters reported here are important discoveries for the advancement of renewable energy conversion reactions.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3785-3791
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-67915


  • electrocatalyst
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • hydrogen oxidation reaction
  • oxygen reduction reaction
  • ruthenium


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