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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Systematic design of superaerophobic nanotube-array electrode comprised of transition-metal sulfides for overall water splitting


Great attention has been focused on the design of electrocatalysts to enable electrochemical water splitting-a technology that allows energy derived from renewable resources to be stored in readily accessible and non-polluting chemical fuels. Herein we report a bifunctional nanotube-array electrode for water splitting in alkaline electrolyte. The electrode requires the overpotentials of 58 mV and 184 mV for hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions respectively, meanwhile maintaining remarkable long-term durability. The prominent performance is due to the systematic optimization of chemical composition and geometric structure principally-that is, abundant electrocatalytic active sites, excellent conductivity of metallic 1T' MoS2, synergistic effects among iron, cobalt, nickel ions, and the superaerophobicity of electrode surface for fast mass transfer. The electrode is also demonstrated to function as anode and cathode, simultaneously, delivering 10 mA cm-2 at a cell voltage of 1.429 V. Our results demonstrate substantial improvement in the design of high-efficiency electrodes for water electrolysis.

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