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      Advances in noble metal (Ru, Rh, and Ir) doping for boosting water splitting electrocatalysis

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          Abstract

          Electrochemical water splitting is promising for producing high-density and green hydrogen, however, the sluggish H 2O dissociation process, due to the low H 2O adsorption on the catalyst surface, greatly hinders industrial electrochemical water splitting on a large scale.

          Abstract

          Electrochemical water splitting has a promising future in producing high-density and green hydrogen, however, the sluggish H 2O dissociation process, due to the low H 2O adsorption on the catalyst surface, greatly hinders the industrial electrochemical water splitting on a large scale. Therefore, intensive efforts have been devoted to the exploration of efficient approaches for fabricating highly efficient electrocatalysts with appropriate H 2O adsorption, such as defect engineering, interface engineering, and morphology design. Among them, metal doping, particularly noble metal (Ru, Rh, and Ir) doping, is essential to optimize the adsorption of reaction intermediates on the surface of catalysts, and has thus attracted increasing research interest. In order to uncover the significant role of noble metal doping in boosting water splitting electrocatalysis, this minireview showcases the most recent examples towards this endeavor, and begins by illustrating the mechanisms for water splitting and several advanced approaches for realizing noble metal doping. In the main text, we have also specifically highlighted the influences of noble metal doping on the electrocatalytic performance. Finally, some challenges and future outlooks are also presented to offer guidance for practical applications.

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          Nanoscale nickel oxide/nickel heterostructures for active hydrogen evolution electrocatalysis.

          Active, stable and cost-effective electrocatalysts are a key to water splitting for hydrogen production through electrolysis or photoelectrochemistry. Here we report nanoscale nickel oxide/nickel heterostructures formed on carbon nanotube sidewalls as highly effective electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction with activity similar to platinum. Partially reduced nickel interfaced with nickel oxide results from thermal decomposition of nickel hydroxide precursors bonded to carbon nanotube sidewalls. The metal ion-carbon nanotube interactions impede complete reduction and Ostwald ripening of nickel species into the less hydrogen evolution reaction active pure nickel phase. A water electrolyzer that achieves ~20 mA cm(-2) at a voltage of 1.5 V, and which may be operated by a single-cell alkaline battery, is fabricated using cheap, non-precious metal-based electrocatalysts.
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            Electrodeposition of hierarchically structured three-dimensional nickel–iron electrodes for efficient oxygen evolution at high current densities

            Large-scale industrial application of electrolytic splitting of water has called for the development of oxygen evolution electrodes that are inexpensive, robust and can deliver large current density (>500 mA cm−2) at low applied potentials. Here we show that an efficient oxygen electrode can be developed by electrodepositing amorphous mesoporous nickel–iron composite nanosheets directly onto macroporous nickel foam substrates. The as-prepared oxygen electrode exhibits high catalytic activity towards water oxidation in alkaline solutions, which only requires an overpotential of 200 mV to initiate the reaction, and is capable of delivering current densities of 500 and 1,000 mA cm−2 at overpotentials of 240 and 270 mV, respectively. The electrode also shows prolonged stability against bulk water electrolysis at large current. Collectively, the as-prepared three-dimensional structured electrode is the most efficient oxygen evolution electrode in alkaline electrolytes reported to the best of our knowledge, and can potentially be applied for industrial scale water electrolysis.
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              Plasma-Assisted Synthesis of NiCoP for Efficient Overall Water Splitting.

              Efficient water splitting requires highly active, earth-abundant, and robust catalysts. Monometallic phosphides such as Ni2P have been shown to be active toward water splitting. Our theoretical analysis has suggested that their performance can be further enhanced by substitution with extrinsic metals, though very little work has been conducted in this area. Here we present for the first time a novel PH3 plasma-assisted approach to convert NiCo hydroxides into ternary NiCoP. The obtained NiCoP nanostructure supported on Ni foam shows superior catalytic activity toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) with a low overpotential of 32 mV at -10 mA cm-2 in alkaline media. Moreover, it is also capable of catalyzing the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) with high efficiency though the real active sites are surface oxides in situ formed during the catalysis. Specifically, a current density of 10 mA cm-2 is achieved at overpotential of 280 mV. These overpotentials are among the best reported values for non-noble metal catalysts. Most importantly, when used as both the cathode and anode for overall water splitting, a current density of 10 mA cm-2 is achieved at a cell voltage as low as 1.58 V, making NiCoP among the most efficient earth-abundant catalysts for water splitting. Moreover, our new synthetic approach can serve as a versatile route to synthesize various bimetallic or even more complex phosphides for various applications.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                JMCAET
                Journal of Materials Chemistry A
                J. Mater. Chem. A
                Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
                2050-7488
                2050-7496
                June 15 2021
                2021
                : 9
                : 23
                : 13459-13470
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Materials and Chemical Engineering
                [2 ]Xuzhou University of Technology
                [3 ]China
                Article
                10.1039/D1TA01108A
                d84b3012-e561-43eb-8c43-bded32515038
                © 2021

                http://rsc.li/journals-terms-of-use

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