RSC Adv. 2023 Aug 14;13(35):24393-24411. doi: 10.1039/d3ra04110g. eCollection 2023 Aug 11.
Hydrogen energy is considered to be the most potential “ultimate energy source” due to its high combustion calorific value, cleanliness, and pollution-free characteristics. Furthermore, the production of hydrogen via the electrolysis of water has the advantages of simplicity, high efficiency, environmentally safe, and high-purity hydrogen. However, it is also associated with issues such as high-power consumption for the reaction and limited large-scale application of noble metal catalysts. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous composite materials composed of metal ions and organic functional groups through orderly coordination with large specific surface areas and large porosity. Herein, we focus on the research status of MOFs and their transition metal derivatives for electrocatalytic water splitting to produce hydrogen and briefly describe the reaction mechanism and evaluation parameters of the electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution and oxygen evolution reactions. Furthermore, the relationship between the catalytic behavior and catalytic activity of different MOF-based catalysts and their morphology, elemental composition, and synthetic strategy is analyzed and discussed. The reasons for the excellent activity and poor stability of the original MOF materials for the electrolysis of water reaction are shown through analysis, and using various means to improve the catalytic activity by changing the electronic structure, active sites, and charge transfer rate, MOF-based catalysts were obtained. Finally, we present perspectives on the future development of MOFs for the electrocatalytic decomposition of water.