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1.  A highly active and stable hydrogen evolution catalyst based on pyrite-structured cobalt phosphosulfide 
Nature Communications  2016;7:10771.
Rational design and controlled synthesis of hybrid structures comprising multiple components with distinctive functionalities are an intriguing and challenging approach to materials development for important energy applications like electrocatalytic hydrogen production, where there is a great need for cost effective, active and durable catalyst materials to replace the precious platinum. Here we report a structure design and sequential synthesis of a highly active and stable hydrogen evolution electrocatalyst material based on pyrite-structured cobalt phosphosulfide nanoparticles grown on carbon nanotubes. The three synthetic steps in turn render electrical conductivity, catalytic activity and stability to the material. The hybrid material exhibits superior activity for hydrogen evolution, achieving current densities of 10 mA cm−2 and 100 mA cm−2 at overpotentials of 48 mV and 109 mV, respectively. Phosphorus substitution is crucial for the chemical stability and catalytic durability of the material, the molecular origins of which are uncovered by X-ray absorption spectroscopy and computational simulation.
Rational design and synthesis are important for the development of materials for energy applications. Here, the authors sequentially synthesize pyrite structured cobalt phosphosulfide nanoparticles on carbon nanotubes, probing the role of phosphorous substitution on catalyst stability and durability.
PMCID: PMC4762894  PMID: 26892437
2.  Probing three-dimensional surface force fields with atomic resolution: Measurement strategies, limitations, and artifact reduction 
Noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) is being increasingly used to measure the interaction force between an atomically sharp probe tip and surfaces of interest, as a function of the three spatial dimensions, with picometer and piconewton accuracy. Since the results of such measurements may be affected by piezo nonlinearities, thermal and electronic drift, tip asymmetries, and elastic deformation of the tip apex, these effects need to be considered during image interpretation.
In this paper, we analyze their impact on the acquired data, compare different methods to record atomic-resolution surface force fields, and determine the approaches that suffer the least from the associated artifacts. The related discussion underscores the idea that since force fields recorded by using NC-AFM always reflect the properties of both the sample and the probe tip, efforts to reduce unwanted effects of the tip on recorded data are indispensable for the extraction of detailed information about the atomic-scale properties of the surface.
PMCID: PMC3458610  PMID: 23019560
atomic force microscopy; force spectroscopy; NC-AFM; three-dimensional atomic force microscopy; tip asymmetry; tip elasticity

Results 1-2 (2)