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Hollow Ni–V–Mo Chalcogenide Nanopetals as Bifunctional Electrocatalyst for Overall Water Splitting

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posted on 04.12.2018, 00:00 by Huafeng Fan, Jun Huang, Guangliang Chen, Wei Chen, Rui Zhang, Sijun Chu, Xingquan Wang, Chaorong Li, Kostya Ken Ostrikov
Rational design of noble-metal-free electrocatalysts with excellent performance for both hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is critical for next-generation industrial applications of water electrolysis. Here, a simple and robust preparation method of three-dimensional (3D) nanostructured catalysts made of abundant metals is presented. The 3D hydrangea-like microspheres made of nickel–vanadium double hydroxide nanosheets are first prepared on the Ni–Co foam (NCF) followed by the hydroxides exchange with (MoS4)2– ions to form Chevrel-phase Ni–V–Mo sulfide. Benefiting from the 3D holey nanostructures with a large surface area, low adsorption free energy values, and fast electronic transport, the overpotentials of the optimized Ni8V2(Mo3S4)11/NCF catalyst for HER and OER at a current density 10 mA cm–2 are as low as 129 and 330 mV, respectively. The amounts of H2 and O2 generated at a current density of 10 mA cm–2 are about 517 and 342 μmol h–1, which is very competitive with most advanced research results reported for non-noble-metal electrodes in alkaline medium. The Chevrel-phase chalcogenide also features excellent long-term stability under prolonged HER and OER cycling conditions. Our results suggest that Chevrel-phase materials are promising as low-cost and efficient bifunctional electrocatalysts for overall water splitting in alkaline electrolytes.