- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of Materials Chemistry A
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 7736 to 7749
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Energy harvesting from solar and water has created ripples in materials energy research for the last several decades, complemented by the rise of Hydrogen as a clean fuel. Among these, water electrolysis leading to generation of oxygen and hydrogen, has been one of the most promising routes towards sustainable alternative energy generation and storage, with applications ranging from metal-air batteries, fuel cells, to solar-to-fuel energy conversion systems. In fact, solar water splitting is one of the most promising method to produce Hydrogen without depleting fossil-fuel based natural resources. However, the efficiency and practical feasibility of water electrolysis is limited by the anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER), which is a kinetically sluggish, electron-intensive uphill reaction. A slow OER process also slows the other half- cell reaction, i.e. the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) at the cathode. Hence, designing efficient catalysts for OER process from earth-abundant resources has been one of the primary concerns for advancing solar water splitting. In the Nath group we have focused on transition metal chalcogenides as efficient OER electrocatalysts. We have proposed the idea that these chalcogenides, specifically, selenides and tellurides will show much better OER catalytic activity due to increasing covalency around the catalytically active transition metal site, compared to the oxides caused by decreasing electronegativity of the anion, which in turn leads to variation of chem. potential around the transition metal center, [e.g. lowering the Ni 2+ --> Ni 3+ oxidn. potential in Ni-based catalysts where Ni 3+ is the actually catalytically active species]. Based on such hypothesis, we have synthesized a plethora of transition metal selenides including those based on Ni, Ni-Fe, Co, and Ni-Co, which show high catalytic efficiency characterized by low onset potential and overpotential at 10 mA/cm 2 [Ni 3 Se 2 - 200 - 290 mV; Co 7 Se 8 - 260 mV; FeNi 2 Se 4 -NrGO - 170 mV (NrGO - N-doped reduced graphene oxide); NiFe 2 Se 4 - 210 mV; CoNi 2 Se 4 - 190 mV; Ni 3 Te 2 - 180 mV].more » « less
Water splitting has been widely considered to be an efficient way to generate sustainable and renewable energy resources in fuel cells, metal–air batteries and other energy conversion devices. Exploring efficient electrocatalysts to expedite the anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a crucial task that needs to be addressed in order to boost the practical application of water splitting. Intensive efforts have been devoted to develop mixed transition metal based chalcogenides as effective OER electrocatalysts. Herein, we have reported synthesis of a series of mixed metal selenides containing Co, Ni and Cu employing combinatorial electrodeposition, and systematically investigated how the transition metal doping affects the OER catalytic activity in alkaline medium. Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) was performed to detect the elemental compositions and confirm the feasibility of compositional control of 66 metal selenide thin films. It was observed that the OER catalytic activity is sensitive to the concentration of Cu in the catalysts, and the catalyst activity tended to increase with increasing Cu concentration. However, increasing the Cu concentration beyond a certain limit led to decrease in catalytic efficiency, and copper selenide by itself, although catalytically active, showed higher onset potential and overpotential for OER compared to the ternary and quaternary mixed metal selenides. Interestingly, the best quaternary composition (Co 0.21 Ni 0.25 Cu 0.54 ) 3 Se 2 showed similar crystal structure as its parent compound of Cu 3 Se 2 with slight decrease in lattice spacings of (101) and (210) lattice planes (0.0222 Å and 0.0148 Å, respectively) evident from the powder X-ray diffraction pattern. (Co 0.21 Ni 0.25 Cu 0.54 ) 3 Se 2 thin film exhibited excellent OER catalytic activity and required an overpotential of 272 mV to reach a current density of 10 mA cm −2 , which is 54 mV lower than Cu 3 Se 2 , indicating a synergistic effect of transition metal doping in enhancing catalytic activity.more » « less
Designing efficient electrocatalysts has been one of the primary goals for water electrolysis, which is one of the most promising routes towards sustainable energy generation from renewable sources. In this article, we have tried to expand the family of transition metal chalcogenide based highly efficient OER electrocatalysts by investigating nickel telluride, Ni 3 Te 2 as a catalyst for the first time. Interestingly Ni 3 Te 2 electrodeposited on a GC electrode showed very low onset potential and overpotential at 10 mA cm −2 (180 mV), which is the lowest in the series of chalcogenides with similar stoichiometry, Ni 3 E 2 (E = S, Se, Te) as well as Ni-oxides. This observation falls in line with the hypothesis that increasing the covalency around the transition metal center enhances catalytic activity. Such a hypothesis has been previously validated in oxide-based electrocatalysts by creating anion vacancies. However, this is the first instance where this hypothesis has been convincingly validated in the chalcogenide series. The operational stability of the Ni 3 Te 2 electrocatalyst surface during the OER for an extended period of time in alkaline medium was confirmed through surface-sensitive analytical techniques such as XPS, as well as electrochemical methods which showed that the telluride surface did not undergo any corrosion, degradation, or compositional change. More importantly we have compared the catalyst activation step (Ni 2+ → Ni 3+ oxidation) in the chalcogenide series, through electrochemical cyclic voltammetry studies, and have shown that catalyst activation occurs at lower applied potential as the electronegativity of the anion decreases. From DFT calculations we have also shown that the hydroxyl attachment energy is more favorable on the Ni 3 Te 2 surface compared to the Ni-oxide, confirming the enhanced catalytic activity of the telluride. Ni 3 Te 2 also exhibited efficient HER catalytic activity in alkaline medium making it a very effective bifunctional catalyst for full water splitting with a cell voltage of 1.66 V at 10 mA cm −2 . It should be noted here that this is the first report of OER and HER activity in the family of Ni-tellurides.more » « less
Designing electrocatalysts that excel in hydrogen and oxygen electrochemistry is crucial for sustainable hydrogen generation through electrochemical water splitting. This study presents a novel tricomponent catalyst composed of an alginate hydrogel (AL) infused with single‐walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles. The catalyst exhibits benchmark‐close bifunctional activity toward hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) under alkaline conditions. The aerophobic nature of the AL‐gel facilitates superior bubble release from the electrode, while the inclusion of CNTs mitigates charge transfer resistance. Moreover, heterojunctions of CuO and CNTs create unique interfacial active sites, culminating in high electrocatalytic water‐splitting activity. The structural rigidity of the composite permits its use as self‐standing electrodes (SSE) without using substrates or binders, enabling a direct evaluation of its activity. The composite electrode demonstrates exceptional electrocatalytic HER activity in an alkaline solution, with onset potentials of 93 mV and moderate OER activity with an onset of 155 mV. Moreover, a water electrolysis cell featuring the bifunctional SSE exhibits an open circuit voltage of 1.85 V at 100 mA.cm−2, and only 8% efficiency loss after 100 h marking this a significant stride in developing self‐standing nonprecious electrocatalysts with impressive catalytic performance.
The application of Co2‐xRhxP nanoparticles as electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and overall water splitting in basic media is reported. The experimental design seeks to dilute rhodium with earth‐abundant cobalt as a means to lower the cost of the material and achieve catalytic synergism, as reported for related bimetallic phosphides. The HER activity of Co2‐xRhxP is found to be composition‐dependent, with the rhodium‐rich compositions being more active as compared to their cobalt‐rich counterparts, with overpotentials (η) at 10 mA/cm2geometricof 58.1–63.9 mV vs. 82.1–188.1 mV, respectively. In contrast, Co‐rich Co2‐xRhxP nanoparticles are active for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) process in basic media, with η= 290 mV for x=0.25. A full water electrolysis cell was created using the most active compositions for OER and HER as the anode and cathode, respectively, generating an overall η= 390 mV. Notably, the cell became more active over a 50 h stability test, increasing by 2 mV/cm2geometricat a constant applied voltage of 1.62 V vs NHE. This enhanced activity correlates with nanoscale phase segregation of Rh in the anode. Thus, the lower overpotential achieved for Co1.75Rh0.25P relative to Co2P, and the augmented activity over time in the former, may be a consequence of restructuring of the anode driven by Rh phase‐segregation. The augmentation in activity at the anode more than compensates for small losses at the cathode.