Research Article


2021, 14(11): 4220–4226


Construction of hierarchical FeNi3@(Fe,Ni)S2 core–shell heterojunctions for advanced oxygen evolution

Minglei Yan1, Zhiyang Zhao1, Peixin Cui2, Kun Mao1, Chi Chen3, Xizhang Wang1, Qiang Wu1, Hui Yang3, Lijun Yang1 (✉), and Zheng Hu1 (✉)

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1 Key Laboratory of Mesoscopic Chemistry of MOE and Jiangsu Provincial Laboratory of Nanotechnology, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
2 Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
3 Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201210, China

Keywords: oxygen evolution reaction, electrocatalysts, Ni-Fe nitrides, core–shell structure, heterojunctions
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The investigation of earth-abundant electrocatalysts for efficient water electrolysis is of central importance in renewable energy system, which is currently impeded by the large overpotential of oxygen evolution reaction (OER). NiFe sulfides show promising OER activity but are troubled by their low intrinsic conductivities. Herein, we demonstrate the construction of the porous core–shell heterojunctions of FeNi3@(Fe,Ni)S2 with tunable shell thickness via the reduction of hierarchical NiFe(OH)x nanosheets followed by a partial sulfidization. The conductive FeNi3 core provides the highway for electron transport, and the (Fe,Ni)S2 shell offers the exposed surface for in situ generation of S-doped NiFe-oxyhydroxides with high intrinsic OER activity, which is supported by the combined experimental and theoretical studies. In addition, the porous hierarchical morphology favors the electrolyte access and O2 liberation. Consequently, the optimized catalyst achieves an excellent OER performance with a low overpotential of 288 mV at 100 mA∙cm–2, a small Tafel slope of 48 mV∙dec–1, and a high OER durability for at least 1,200 h at 200 mA∙cm–2. This study provides an effective way to explore the advanced earth-abundant OER electrocatalysts by constructing the heterojunctions between metal and corresponding metal-compounds via the convenient post treatment, such as nitridation and sulfidization.
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Construction of hierarchical FeNi3@(Fe,Ni)S2 core–shell heterojunctions for advanced oxygen evolution. Nano Res. 2021, 14(11): 4220–4226

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