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Amorphous Multi-elements Electrocatalysts with Tunable Bifunctionality toward Overall Water Splitting

  • Xiaomei Wang
    Xiaomei Wang
    State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, The Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023, China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    More by Xiaomei Wang
  • Weiguang Ma
    Weiguang Ma
    State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, The Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023, China
    More by Weiguang Ma
  • Chunmei Ding
    Chunmei Ding
    State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, The Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023, China
    More by Chunmei Ding
  • Zhiqiang Xu
    Zhiqiang Xu
    State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, The Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023, China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    More by Zhiqiang Xu
  • Hong Wang
    Hong Wang
    State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, The Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023, China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    More by Hong Wang
  • Xu Zong*
    Xu Zong
    State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, The Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023, China
    *E-mail for X.Z.: [email protected]
    More by Xu Zong
  • , and 
  • Can Li*
    Can Li
    State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, The Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023, China
    *E-mail for C.L.: [email protected]
    More by Can Li
Cite this: ACS Catal. 2018, 8, 11, 9926–9935
Publication Date (Web):September 14, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.8b01839
Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Economically producing hydrogen via electrocatalytic water splitting requires highly efficient and low-cost catalysts and scalable synthetic strategies. Herein, we present the preparation of hierarchically structured multi-elements water splitting electrocatalysts consisting of Fe, Co, Ni, S, P, and O with a one-step electrodeposition method. By tuning of the non-metal compositions of the catalysts, the electrochemical performances of the catalysts for both the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in 1 M KOH can be rationally modified, respectively. Under the optimum conditions, current densities of 100 and 1000 mA cm–2 were obtained at overpotentials of only 135 and 264 mV on the HER catalyst and 258 and 360 mV on the OER catalyst, respectively. When the best-performing HER and OER catalysts were assembled in a two-electrode system for overall water splitting, a current density of 10 mA cm–2 could be obtained under a cell voltage of 1.46 V with long-term durability. As far as we know, this is among the lowest voltages ever reported for a two-electrode electrolyzer based upon earth-abundant elements. Moreover, the catalysts can be facilely assembled on commercially available Ni mesh and demonstrate even higher performance, indicating their great potential for scaled-up water electrolysis. We further demonstrate that S and P play different and pivotal roles in modifying the apparent and intrinsic electrocatalytic activity of the as-prepared amorphous electrocatalysts, therefore pointing out a pathway toward the optimization of multi-elements catalysts.

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  • Additional characterization data for FeCoNiPxSy catalysts via XRD, SEM, EDX, ICP-AES, XPS, LSV curves, Faradaic efficiency, CV curves, chronopotentiometric curves, and comparison of electrocatalytic performance for FeCoNiPxSy catalysts with other electrocatalysts in an alkaline environment (PDF)

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