Nanoscale Adv. 2023 Aug 17;5(18):4852-4862. doi: 10.1039/d3na00195d. eCollection 2023 Sep 12.
The electrocatalytic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) plays a crucial role in renewable clean energy conversion technologies and has developed into an important direction in the field of advanced energy, becoming the focus of basic research and industrial development. Herein, we report the synthesis and application of flower-like nickel-coated Fe3O4@SiO2 magnetic nanoparticles decorated on a graphene electrocatalyst for the OER that exhibit high efficiency and robust durability. The catalysts were optimized using a rotating ring-disk electrode to test their oxygen evolution properties in 1.0 M KOH solution. Importantly, owing to the high specific surface area and conductivity of C3N4 and graphene, the as-synthesized Fe3O4@SiO2@NiO/graphene/C3N4 exhibits a small Tafel slope of 40.46 mV dec-1, low overpotential of 288 mV at 10 mA cm-2, and robust OER durability within a prolonged test period of 100 h. The cytotoxicity of Fe3O4@SiO2, Fe3O4@SiO2@NiO, and Fe3O4@SiO2@NiO/graphene/C3N4 was evaluated in HeLa and MC3T3-E1 cells, demonstrating that they are efficient and biocompatible catalysts for the OER. Owing to its excellent electrocatalytic efficiency and eco-friendliness, Fe3O4@SiO2@NiO/graphene/C3N4 has considerable potential as a new multifunctional composite for large-scale applications in catalysis, biology, medicine, and high-efficiency hydrogen production.