Nano Research

, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 3522–3533 | Cite as

Carbon-encapsulated heazlewoodite nanoparticles as highly efficient and durable electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution reactions

  • Mohammad Al-Mamun
  • Huajie Yin
  • Porun Liu
  • Xintai Su
  • Haimin Zhang
  • Huagui Yang
  • Dan Wang
  • Zhiyong Tang
  • Yun Wang
  • Huijun Zhao
Research Article


The activity and durability of electrocatalysts are important factors in their practical applications, such as electrocatalytic oxygen evolution reactions (OERs) used in water splitting cells and metal–air batteries. In this study, a novel electrocatalyst, comprising few-layered graphitic carbon (~5 atomic layers) encapsulated heazlewoodite (Ni3S2@C) nanoparticles (NPs), was designed and synthesized using a one-step solid phase pyrolysis method. In the OER test, the Ni3S2@C catalyst exhibited an overpotential of 298 mV at a current density of 10 mA·cm–2, a Tafel slope of 51.3 mV·dec–1, and charge transfer resistance of 22.0 Ω, which were better than those of benchmark RuO2 and most nickel-sulfide-based catalysts previously reported. This improved performance was ascribed to the high electronic conductivity of the graphitic carbon encapsulating layers. Moreover, the encapsulation of graphitic carbon layers provided superb stability without noticeable oxidation or depletion of Ni3S2 NPs within the nanocomposite. Therefore, the strategy introduced in this work can benefit the development of highly stable metal sulfide electrocatalysts for energy conversion and storage applications, without sacrificing electrocatalytic activity.


heazlewoodite electrocatalyst encapsulation oxygen evolution reaction pyrolysis graphitic carbon 


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This work was financially supported by Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51372248 and 51432009).

Supplementary material

12274_2017_1563_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.4 mb)
Carbon-encapsulated heazlewoodite nanoparticles as highly efficient and durable electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution reactions


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Al-Mamun
    • 1
  • Huajie Yin
    • 1
  • Porun Liu
    • 1
  • Xintai Su
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haimin Zhang
    • 3
  • Huagui Yang
    • 1
  • Dan Wang
    • 1
  • Zhiyong Tang
    • 1
  • Yun Wang
    • 1
  • Huijun Zhao
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Clean Environment and EnergyGriffith University, Gold Coast CampusSouthportAustralia
  2. 2.Ministry Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Fine Chemicals, College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringXinjiang UniversityUrumqiChina
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental and Energy Nanomaterials, Institute of Solid State PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesHefeiChina

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