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Title: In-situ activation of self-supported 3D hierarchically porous Ni<inf>3</inf>S<inf>2</inf> films grown on nanoporous copper as excellent pH-universal electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction
Authors: Yang, C.
Gao, M. Y.
Zhang, Q. B.
Zeng, J. R.
Li, X. T.
Abbott, A. P.
First Published: 18-Apr-2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Nano Energy, 2017, 36, pp. 85-94
Abstract: The exploitation of low-cost, stable, and highly active electrocatalysts based on earth-abundant metals for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is crucial for developing renewable energy techniques. In this work, we report a facile synthesis strategy for in-situ fabrication of 3D hierarchically porous Ni3S2 films on a nanoporous copper substrate (Ni3S2@NPC) by unusual galvanic replacement reaction in the Ethaline-based deep eutectic solvent (DES) under a normal atmosphere. The self-supported nanoporous Ni3S2@NPC electrode is binder- free and exhibits good structural integrity with high conductivity. A mild evolution of bulk gas bubbles (H2-O2 gas mixture) is proved to drive an in-situ structure rearrangement process of the Ni3S2@NPC and results in substantial increases in the HER activity. The activated Ni3S2@NPC (a-Ni3S2@NPC) electrode can serve as a highly efficient and stable electrocatalyst for the HER in water over a wide pH range. Significantly, it displays high-performance HER catalytic activity in acidic media with robust durability over 111 h and functions well under alkaline and neutral conditions. Such a superior catalytic performance of the a-Ni3S2@NPC is mainly due to the unique hierarchically nanoporous architectures and the synergetic effects in it caused by the restructuring NPC skeletons and active components. Our work offers a generic strategy for design and fabrication of many other self-supported transition metal sulfide and phosphide based HER electrocatalysts, and uncovers a new O2-induced electrochemical self-activation mechanism for improving the activity of catalysts.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2017.04.032
ISSN: 2211-2855
Embargo on file until: 18-Apr-2018
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017, Elsevier. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: Characterization details and computational methods are included as Supporting information.
The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Chemistry

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