Research Article


2021, 14(12): 4740–4747


A highly efficient Fe-doped Ni3S2 electrocatalyst for overall water splitting

Min Wang1, Li Zhang2, Jialiang Pan1, Meirong Huang1, and Hongwei Zhu1 (✉)

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1 State Key Lab of New Ceramics and Fine Processing, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2 Key Laboratory of Photochemical Conversion and Optoelectronic Materials, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

Keywords: sulfide, surface-assisted chemical vapor transport, large-scale, in-situ growth, overall water splitting
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The development of efficient and stable electrocatalysts with earth-abundant elements for both oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in the same electrolyte is incontrovertibly vital in water electrolysis. However, their large-scale fabrication remains a great challenge. Here, we report a self-supported electrocatalyst in the form of Fe-doped Ni3S2 nanoparticles in-situ grown on three-dimensional (3D) conductive Fe-Ni alloy foam (Fe-Ni3S2/AF) by surface-assisted chemical vapor transport (SACVT) method. Homogeneous growth environment and scalability of SACVT method allow Fe-Ni3S2 nanoparticles uniformly growing on AF in large-scale. Fe-Ni3S2/AF exhibits high activity and durability when act as HER catalyst and OER precatalyst in alkaline media. The HER and OER overpotential at 10 mA/cm2 is considerably small, only 75 and 267 mV, respectively. Moreover, the electrolyzer assembled by Fe-Ni3S2/AF for overall water splitting exhibits a low cell voltage and high durability in long-term test. Based on experiments and theoretical calculation, the significantly enhanced activity could be originated from the incorporation of Fe, which contributed to increase the electrochemical active surface area, enhance electrical conductivity, optimize the hydrogen and H2O adsorption energy of Ni3S2 (101) surface in HER, and form active bimetallic Ni-Fe(oxy)hydroxide in OER. The excellent durability of self-supported Fe-Ni3S2/AF could be benefited from the in-situ growth of Fe-Ni3S2 nanoparticles on 3D AF, which could ensure closely mechanical adhesion between active materials and substrate, promote charge transport and increase surface area. This work provides a facile method for large-scale synthesis of electrocatalysts with high activity and long-term durability for efficient water electrolysis in alkaline media.
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A highly efficient Fe-doped Ni3S2 electrocatalyst for overall water splitting. Nano Res. 2021, 14(12): 4740–4747

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