Synthesis of Well-Defined, Surfactant-Free Co3O4 Nanoparticles: The Impact of Size and Manganese Promotion on Co3O4 Reduction and Water Oxidation Activity

Jay Pritchard, Louis Morris, Dominic Walsh, Sajanikumari Sadasivan, Hervé Ménard, Ronan M. Bellabarba, Mark T. Weller, Robert P. Tooze

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A surfactant-free synthetic route has been developed to produce size-controlled, cube-like cobalt oxide nanoparticles of three different sizes in high yields. It was found that by using sodium nitrite as salt-mediating agent, near-quantitative yields could be obtained. The size of the nanoparticles could be altered from 11 to 22 nm by changing the cobalt concentration and reaction time. These surfactant-free nanoparticles form ideal substrates for facile deposition of further elements such as manganese. The effect of size of the cobalt oxide nanoparticles and the presence of manganese on the reducibility of cobalt oxide to metallic cobalt was investigated. Similarly, the effect of these parameters was investigated with a visible light promoted water oxidation system with cobalt oxide as catalyst, together with [Ru(bpy)3]2+ light harvester dye and an electron acceptor. Graphical Abstract: A novel surfactant-free synthetic route has been developed to produce size-controlled, cube shaped cobalt oxide nanoparticles in high yields. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-245
Number of pages11
JournalCatalysis Letters
Issue number1
Early online date17 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018



  • Cobalt oxide nanoparticles
  • Manganese
  • Reduction
  • Water oxidation

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