An electrodeposition approach to metal/metal oxide heterostructures for active hydrogen evolution catalysts in near-neutral electrolytes
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Neutral water splitting is attractive for its use of non-corrosive and environmentally friendly electrolytes. However, catalyst development for hydrogen and oxygen evolution remains a challenge under neutral conditions. Here we report a simple electrodeposition and reductive annealing procedure to produce a highly active Ni-Co-Cr metal/metal oxide heterostructured catalyst directly on Ni foam. The resulting electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) requires only 198 mV of overpotential to reach 100 mA/cm2 in 1 M potassium phosphate (pH = 7.4) and can operate for at least two days without significant performance decay. Scanning transmission electron microscopy coupled with electron energy loss spectroscopy (STEM-EELS) imaging reveals a Ni-Co alloy core decorated with blended oxides layers of NiO, CoO and Cr2O3. The metal/metal oxide interfaces are suggested to be responsible for the high HER activity.
Keywordswater splitting catalysis nanostructured materials hydrogen evolution chemical mapping
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This work was partially supported by US Department of Energy DOE DE-SC0016165. Y. K. and X. M. S. acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Key Research and Development Project of China (No. 2016YFF0204402). Part of this work was performed at the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF), supported by the National Science Foundation under award ECCS-1542152. The electron-microscopy work was performed in the CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Sciences with financial support from the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51622211).
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