Research Article

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2017, 10(11): 3629–3637

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-017-1572-9

Amorphous nickel-iron oxides/carbon nanohybrids for an efficient and durable oxygen evolution reaction

Bo Li1,§, Shuangming Chen2,§, Jie Tian3, Ming Gong3, Hangxun Xu1 (*), and Li Song2 (*)

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1 CAS Key Laboratory of Soft Matter Chemistry, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
2 National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230029, China
3 Engineering and Materials Science Experiment Center, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China
§ Bo Li and Shuangming Chen contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: amorphous metal oxides, electrocatalysis, oxygen evolution reaction, sonochemistry, X-ray absorption near edge structure
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ABSTRACT Highly efficient and durable water oxidation electrocatalysts are critically important in a wide range of clean energy technologies, including water electrolyzers and rechargeable metal-air batteries. Here, we report a novel sonochemical approach to synthesize amorphous nickel-iron oxides/carbon nanohybrids with tunable compositions for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). The sonochemically synthesized amorphous electrocatalysts with optimal composition exhibit a low overpotential of 290 mV at 10 mA·cm−2 and a Tafel slope of 31 mV·decade−1 in a 0.1 M KOH electrolyte, outperforming the benchmark RuO2 catalyst. Meanwhile, these nanohybrids are also highly stable and remain amorphous even after prolonged cycling. In addition to amorphism, sonochemistry endows as-prepared nickel-iron oxides/carbon nanohybrids with a simultaneously formed carbon scaffold and internal Ni(0), which can enhance the stability and activity for the OER. This work demonstrates that sonochemistry is a unique method for synthesizing amorphous metal oxides toward an efficient and durable OER.
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Amorphous nickel-iron oxides/carbon nanohybrids for an efficient and durable oxygen evolution reaction. Nano Res. 2017, 10(11): 3629–3637 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-017-1572-9

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