NiFe Alloy Integrated with Amorphous/Crystalline NiFe Oxide as an Electrocatalyst for Alkaline Hydrogen and Oxygen Evolution Reactions

ACS Omega. 2023 Mar 29;8(14):13068-13077. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.3c00322. eCollection 2023 Apr 11.


The rational design of efficient and low-cost electrocatalysts based on earth-abundant materials is imperative for large-scale production of hydrogen by water electrolysis. Here we present a strategy to prepare highly active catalyst materials through modifying the crystallinity of the surface/interface of strongly coupled transition metal-metal oxides. We have thermally activated the catalysts to construct amorphous/crystalline Ni-Fe oxide interfaced with a conductive Ni-Fe alloy and systematically investigated their electrocatalytic performance toward the hydrogen evolution and oxygen evolution reactions (HER and OER) in alkaline solution. It was found that the Ni-Fe/oxide material with a crystalline surface oxide phase showed remarkably superior HER activity in comparison with its amorphous or poorly crystalline counterpart. In contrast, interestingly, the amorphous/poorly crystalline oxide significantly facilitated the OER activity in comparison with the more crystalline counterpart. On one hand, the higher HER activity can be ascribed to a favorable platform for water dissociation and H-H bond formation, enabled by the unique crystalline metal/oxide structure. On the other hand, the enhanced OER catalysis on the amorphous Ni-Fe oxide surfaces can be attributed to the facile activation to form the active oxyhydroxides under OER conditions. Both are explained based on density functional theory calculations. These results thus shed light onto the role of crystallinity in the HER and OER catalysis on heterostructured Ni-Fe/oxide catalysts and provide guidance for the design of new catalysts for efficient water electrolysis.

PMID:37065081 | PMC:PMC10099113 | DOI:10.1021/acsomega.3c00322


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