Staff directory Ting Zhang

Ting Zhang

Fellowship Doctoral Student
China Scholarship Council
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Advanced Electron Nanoscopy



  • From rational design of a new bimetallic MOF family with tunable linkers to OER catalysts

    Zhang X., Luo J., Wan K., Plessers D., Sels B., Song J., Chen L., Zhang T., Tang P., Morante J.R., Arbiol J., Fransaer J. Journal of Materials Chemistry A; 7 (4): 1616 - 1628. 2019. 10.1039/c8ta08508k.

    Innovative bimetallic MOFs offer more possibilities to further tailor the properties of MOFs, which have attracted great attention for wide applications. However, it is still a great challenge to rationally design bimetallic MOFs due to the lack of a tunable and reasonable hybrid structure architecture. Herein, a new series of bimetallic metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with tunable pillar linkers were prepared by a one-step synthesis method. These bimetallic MOFs retain the same crystal structure when the mole fraction (based on metal) of the two metals changes from 0 to 1 and both metal ions occupy random nodal positions. The incorporation of a second metal cation has a large influence on the intrinsic properties (e.g. thermal stabilities and band gaps) of the MOFs. Furthermore, these bimetallic MOFs were used as self-sacrificial templates to prepare bimetal oxide catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). After pyrolysis, a porous and hierarchical honeycomb-like structure with carbon network covered (bi)metal oxides is formed. Among all the bimetallic MOF-derived catalysts, CoNi1@C showed the best performance for the OER with the lowest Tafel slopes (55.6 mV dec -1 ) and overpotentials (335 mV on a glassy carbon electrode and 276 mV on Ni foam) at a current density of 10 mA cm -2 , which is higher than those of state-of-the-art Co-Ni mixed oxide catalysts derived from MOFs for the OER. Our results indicate that the incorporation of a second metal ion is a promising strategy to tailor the properties of MOFs. More importantly, this new bimetallic MOF family with tunable linkers is expected to serve as a flexible assembly platform to offer broad possibilities for practical applications of MOFs. © 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • Solution-Processed Ultrathin SnS 2 -Pt Nanoplates for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation

    Zuo Y., Liu Y., Li J., Du R., Yu X., Xing C., Zhang T., Yao L., Arbiol J., Llorca J., Sivula K., Guijarro N., Cabot A. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces; 11 (7): 6918 - 6926. 2019. 10.1021/acsami.8b17622.

    Tin disulfide (SnS 2 ) is attracting significant interest because of the abundance of its elements and its excellent optoelectronic properties in part related to its layered structure. In this work, we specify the preparation of ultrathin SnS 2 nanoplates (NPLs) through a hot-injection solution-based process. Subsequently, Pt was grown on their surface via in situ reduction of a Pt salt. The photoelectrochemical (PEC) performance of such nanoheterostructures as photoanode toward water oxidation was tested afterwards. Optimized SnS 2 -Pt photoanodes provided significantly higher photocurrent densities than bare SnS 2 and SnS 2 -based photoanodes of previously reported study. Mott-Schottky analysis and PEC impedance spectroscopy (PEIS) were used to analyze in more detail the effect of Pt on the PEC performance. From these analyses, we attribute the enhanced activity of SnS 2 -Pt photoanodes reported here to a combination of the very thin SnS 2 NPLs and the proper electronic contact between Pt nanoparticles (NPs) and SnS 2 . © 2019 American Chemical Society.


  • Colloidal Ni-Co-Sn nanoparticles as efficient electrocatalysts for the methanol oxidation reaction

    Li J., Luo Z., He F., Zuo Y., Zhang C., Liu J., Yu X., Du R., Zhang T., Infante-Carrió M.F., Tang P., Arbiol J., Llorca J., Cabot A. Journal of Materials Chemistry A; 6 (45): 22915 - 22924. 2018. 10.1039/c8ta08242a. IF: 9.931

    The deployment of direct methanol fuel cells requires engineering cost-effective and durable electrocatalysts for the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR). As an alternative to noble metals, Ni-based alloys have shown excellent performance and good stability toward the MOR. Herein, we present a series of Ni3-xCoxSn2 colloidal nanoparticles (NPs) with composition tuned over the entire Ni/Co range (0 ≤ x ≤ 3). We demonstrate electrodes based on these ternary NPs to provide improved catalytic performance toward the MOR in an alkaline medium when compared with binary Ni3Sn2 NPs. A preliminary composition optimization resulted in Ni2.5Co0.5Sn2 NP-based electrodes exhibiting extraordinary mass current densities, up to 1050 mA mg-1, at 0.6 V vs. Hg/HgO in 1.0 M KOH containing 1.0 M methanol. This current density was about two-fold higher than that of Ni3Sn2 electrodes (563 mA mg-1). The excellent performance obtained with the substitution of small amounts of Ni by Co was concomitant with an increase of the surface coverage of active species and an enhancement of the diffusivity of the reaction limiting species. Additionally, saturation of the catalytic activity at higher methanol concentrations was measured for Ni3-xCoxSn2 NP-based electrodes containing a small amount of Co when compared with binary Ni3Sn2 NPs. While the electrode stability was improved with respect to elemental Ni NP-based electrodes, the introduction of small amounts of Co slightly decreased the cycling performance. Additionally, Sn, a key element to improve stability with respect to elemental Ni NPs, was observed to slowly dissolve in the presence of KOH. Density functional theory calculations on metal alloy surfaces showed the incorporation of Co within the Ni3Sn2 structure to provide more effective sites for CO and CH3OH adsorption. However, the relatively lower stability could not be related to CO or CH3OH poisoning. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2018.

  • NiSn bimetallic nanoparticles as stable electrocatalysts for methanol oxidation reaction

    Li J., Luo Z., Zuo Y., Liu J., Zhang T., Tang P., Arbiol J., Llorca J., Cabot A. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental; 234: 10 - 18. 2018. 10.1016/j.apcatb.2018.04.017. IF: 11.698

    Nickel is an excellent alternative catalyst to high cost Pt and Pt-group metals as anode material in direct methanol fuel cells. However, nickel presents a relatively low stability under operation conditions, even in alkaline media. In this work, a synthetic route to produce bimetallic NiSn nanoparticles (NPs) with tuned composition is presented. Through co-reduction of the two metals in the presence of appropriate surfactants, 3–5 nm NiSn NPs with tuned Ni/Sn ratios were produced. Such NPs were subsequently supported on carbon black and tested for methanol electro-oxidation in alkaline media. Among the different stoichiometries tested, the most Ni-rich alloy exhibited the highest electrocatalytic activity, with mass current density of 820 mA mg−1 at 0.70 V (vs. Hg/HgO). While this activity was comparable to that of pure nickel NPs, NiSn alloys showed highly improved stabilities over periods of 10,000 s at 0.70 V. We hypothesize this experimental fact to be associated to the collaborative oxidation of the byproducts of methanol which poison the Ni surface or to the prevention of the tight adsorption of these species on the Ni surface by modifying its surface chemistry or electronic density of states. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.

  • Tin Diselenide Molecular Precursor for Solution-Processable Thermoelectric Materials

    Zhang Y., Liu Y., Lim K.H., Xing C., Li M., Zhang T., Tang P., Arbiol J., Llorca J., Ng K.M., Ibáñez M., Guardia P., Prato M., Cadavid D., Cabot A. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition; 2018. 10.1002/anie.201809847. IF: 12.102

    In the present work, we detail a fast and simple solution-based method to synthesize hexagonal SnSe2 nanoplates (NPLs) and their use to produce crystallographically textured SnSe2 nanomaterials. We also demonstrate that the same strategy can be used to produce orthorhombic SnSe nanostructures and nanomaterials. NPLs are grown through a screw dislocation-driven mechanism. This mechanism typically results in pyramidal structures, but we demonstrate here that the growth from multiple dislocations results in flower-like structures. Crystallographically textured SnSe2 bulk nanomaterials obtained from the hot pressing of these SnSe2 structures display highly anisotropic charge and heat transport properties and thermoelectric (TE) figures of merit limited by relatively low electrical conductivities. To improve this parameter, SnSe2 NPLs are blended here with metal nanoparticles. The electrical conductivities of the blends are significantly improved with respect to bare SnSe2 NPLs, what translates into a three-fold increase of the TE Figure of merit, reaching unprecedented ZT values up to 0.65. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

  • Triphenyl Phosphite as the Phosphorus Source for the Scalable and Cost-Effective Production of Transition Metal Phosphides

    Liu J., Meyns M., Zhang T., Arbiol J., Cabot A., Shavel A. Chemistry of Materials; 30 (5): 1799 - 1807. 2018. 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b00290. IF: 9.890

    Transition metal phosphides have great potential to optimize a number of functionalities in several energy conversion and storage applications, particularly when nanostructured or in nanoparticle form. However, the synthesis of transition metal phosphide nanoparticles and its scalability is often limited by the toxicity, air sensitivity, and high cost of the reagents used. We present here a simple, scalable, and cost-effective "heating up" procedure to produce metal phosphides using inexpensive, low-toxicity, and air-stable triphenyl phosphite as source of phosphorus and chlorides as metal precursors. This procedure allows the synthesis of a variety of phosphide nanoparticles, including phosphides of Ni, Co, and Cu. The use of carbonyl metal precursors further allowed the synthesis of Fe2P and MoP nanoparticles. The fact that minor modifications in the experimental parameters allowed producing nanoparticles with different compositions and even to tune their size and shape shows the high potential and versatility of the triphenyl phosphite precursor and the presented method. We also detail here a methodology to displace organic ligands from the surface of phosphide nanoparticles, which is a key step toward their application in energy conversion and storage systems. © 2018 American Chemical Society.