Fabrication of dispersive α-Co(OH)2 nanosheets on graphene nanoribbons for boosting their oxygen evolution performance
Nanostructured α-Co(OH)2 materials are promising noble-metal-free electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution reaction (OER), but their performance is severally restrained by their poor conductivity. Combination of α-Co(OH)2 and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can improve their conductivity, but it is difficult to build sufficient interface contact between them due to the mismatched hydrophobicity. Herein, we demonstrate a facile method to in situ grow α-Co(OH)2 nanosheets (NSs) on graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), an intriguing belt-like conductive material after oxidative unzipping of CNTs. Owing to the rich of functional groups, the GNRs can be utilized as substrate in solution to prepare dispersive α-Co(OH)2 nanosheets on their surface. The developed α-Co(OH)2 NSs are well contact with the conductive GNRs substrate and offer sufficient active surface area, showing obviously better OER performance than the α-Co(OH)2 and CNTs/Co(OH)2 prepared under the same condition. The composite electrocatalysts have been characterized by various apparatuses, and their OER activities are explored in detail.
The authors acknowledge financial support from Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (Nos LR15B010001 and LGG19B010002) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No 21701143). Mr. Y. Bao also thanks for the financial support from Undergraduate Training Program for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of China (No 201810345015).
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