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Precipitating Metal Nitrate Deposition of Amorphous Metal Oxyhydroxide Electrodes Containing Ni, Fe, and Co for Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation

  • Young Kyeong Kim
    Young Kyeong Kim
    School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
  • Jin Hyun Kim
    Jin Hyun Kim
    School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    More by Jin Hyun Kim
  • Yim Hyun Jo
    Yim Hyun Jo
    Advanced Center for Energy, Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    More by Yim Hyun Jo
  • , and 
  • Jae Sung Lee*
    Jae Sung Lee
    School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    *E-mail: [email protected]
    More by Jae Sung Lee
Cite this: ACS Catal. 2019, 9, 10, 9650–9662
Publication Date (Web):September 13, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.9b02701
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

We report here a facile, one-step precipitating metal nitrate deposition (PMND) method to prepare amorphous metal oxyhydroxide films containing Fe, Co, and Ni as efficient electrocatalysts for water oxidation. The unique synthesis technique allows easy control of the metal composition over a wide range on various substrates. A series of unary and binary metal oxyhydroxides of 30 compositions are synthesized by PMND on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate as water oxidation electrocatalysts. The activity of the metal oxyhydroxide films is represented by a volcano plot as a function of a single experimental descriptor, i.e., the fraction of hydroxide in the surface oxygen species. The optimum compositions for binary metal oxyhydroxide (NiFe, NiCo, and CoFe) are determined on conductive substrates of FTO, nickel foam (NF), nickel mesh (NM), and carbon felt (CF), and the best NiFe (2:8) electrocatalyst on NF exhibits a water oxidation current density of 100 mA/cm2 with only 280 mV of overvoltage, which outperforms conventional noble metal catalysts like IrOx and RuOx in an alkaline medium. Finally, we demonstrate a tandem PV–electrolysis system by using a c-Si PV module with a power conversion efficiency of 13.71% and an electrochemical cell composed of NiFe (2:8)/NF anode and a bare NF cathode with a conversion efficiency of 71.8%, which records a solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 9.84%.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.9b02701.

  • SEM images; XPS spectra; XRD patterns; TEM images; EDS mapping images; LSV curves; cyclic voltammograms; Tafel plots; volcano plot of Tafel slope vs [−OH]/[−OH] + [−O]; consideration about the descriptor; fast Fourier transform image; EIS plot; calculation for PV–electrochemical cell system; schematic diagram; photograph of electrode; jV curve of the solar cell; summary of recent PV–EC system power conversion ratio; Tables S1–S4; and note for PV–EC system (PDF)

  • Video of PV EC operation without external bias (AVI)

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