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Metal–Organic Framework-Derived Co3ZnC/Co Embedded in Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotube-Grafted Carbon Polyhedra as a High-Performance Electrocatalyst for Water Splitting

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journal contribution
posted on 29.01.2018, 00:00 by Zhou Yu, Yu Bai, Shimin Zhang, Yuxuan Liu, Naiqing Zhang, Guohua Wang, Junhua Wei, Qibing Wu, Kening Sun
The development of efficient, low-cost, and stable electrocatalysts for overall water splitting is of great significance for energy conversion. Transition-metal carbides (TMCs) with high catalytic activity and low cost have attracted great interests. Nevertheless, utilizing an efficient catalyst for overall water splitting is still a challenging issue for TMCs. Herein, we report the synthesis of a high-performance electrocatalyst comprising Co3ZnC and Co nanoparticles embedded in a nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube-grafted carbon polyhedral (Co3ZnC/Co-NCCP) by the pyrolysis of bimetallic zeolitic imidazolate frameworks in a reductive atmosphere of Ar/H2. The Co3ZnC/Co-NCCP exhibits remarkable electrochemical activity in catalyzing both the oxygen evolution reaction and hydrogen evolution reaction, in terms of low overpotential and excellent stability. Furthermore, the Co3ZnC/Co-NCCP catalyst leads to a highly performed overall water splitting in the 1 M KOH electrolyte, delivering a current density of 10 mA cm–2 at a low applied external potential of 1.65 V and shows good stability without obvious deactivation after 10 h operation. The present strategy opens a new avenue to the design of efficient electrocatalysts in electrochemical applications.

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