Bimetallic nickel-molybdenum/tungsten nanoalloys for high-efficiency hydrogen oxidation catalysis in alkaline electrolytes.
ABSTRACT: Hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells offer possibility of adopting platinum-group-metal-free catalysts to negotiate sluggish oxygen reduction reaction. Unfortunately, the ultrafast hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) on platinum decreases at least two orders of magnitude by switching the electrolytes from acid to base, causing high platinum-group-metal loadings. Here we show that a nickel-molybdenum nanoalloy with tetragonal MoNi4 phase can catalyze the HOR efficiently in alkaline electrolytes. The catalyst exhibits a high apparent exchange current density of 3.41 milliamperes per square centimeter and operates very stable, which is 1.4 times higher than that of state-of-the-art Pt/C catalyst. With this catalyst, we further demonstrate the capability to tolerate carbon monoxide poisoning. Marked HOR activity was also observed on similarly designed WNi4 catalyst. We attribute this remarkable HOR reactivity to an alloy effect that enables optimum adsorption of hydrogen on nickel and hydroxyl on molybdenum (tungsten), which synergistically promotes the Volmer reaction.
Project description:The scalable production of hydrogen could conveniently be realized by alkaline water electrolysis. Currently, the major challenge confronting hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is lacking inexpensive alternatives to platinum-based electrocatalysts. Here we report a high-efficient and stable electrocatalyst composed of ruthenium and cobalt bimetallic nanoalloy encapsulated in nitrogen-doped graphene layers. The catalysts display remarkable performance with low overpotentials of only 28 and 218?mV at 10 and 100?mA?cm-2, respectively, and excellent stability of 10,000 cycles. Ruthenium is the cheapest platinum-group metal and its amount in the catalyst is only 3.58?wt.%, showing the catalyst high activity at a very competitive price. Density functional theory calculations reveal that the introduction of ruthenium atoms into cobalt core can improve the efficiency of electron transfer from alloy core to graphene shell, beneficial for enhancing carbon-hydrogen bond, thereby lowing ?GH* of HER.
Project description:Recently, the development of high-performance non-platinum electrocatalysts for fuel cell applications has been gaining attention. Palladium-based nanoalloys are considered as promising candidates to substitute platinum catalysts for cathodic and anodic reactions in fuel cells. Here, we develop a facile route to synthesize dendritic palladium-copper-cobalt trimetallic nanoalloys as robust multifunctional electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction and formic acid oxidation. To the best of our knowledge, the mass activities of the dendritic Pd<sub>59</sub>Cu<sub>30</sub>Co<sub>11</sub> nanoalloy toward oxygen reduction and formic acid oxidation are higher than those previously reported for non-platinum metal nanocatalysts. The Pd<sub>59</sub>Cu<sub>30</sub>Co<sub>11</sub> nanoalloys also exhibit superior durability for oxygen reduction and formic acid oxidation as well as good antimethanol/ethanol interference ability compared to a commercial platinum/carbon catalyst. The high performance of the dendritic Pd<sub>59</sub>Cu<sub>30</sub>Co<sub>11</sub> nanoalloys is attributed to a combination of effects, including defects, a synergistic effect, change of d-band center of palladium, and surface strain.
Project description:Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2)-based materials have been recently identified as promising electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, little work has been done to improve the catalytic performance of MoS2 toward HER in alkaline electrolytes, which is more suitable for water splitting in large-scale applications. Here, it is reported that the hybridization of 0D nickel hydr(oxy)oxide nanoparticles with 2D metallic MoS2 nanosheets can significantly enhance the HER activities in alkaline and neutral electrolytes. Impressively, the optimized hybrid catalyst can drive a cathodic current density of 10 mA cm-2 at an overpotential of ?73 mV for HER in 1 m KOH, about 185 mV smaller than the original MoS2. The improved HER activity is attributed to a bifunctional mechanism adopted in these hybrid catalysts, in which nickel hydr(oxy)oxide promotes the water adsorption and dissociation to supply protons for subsequent reactions occurred on MoS2 to generate H2.
Project description:Most photoanodes commonly applied in solar fuel research (e.g., of Fe2O3, BiVO4, TiO2, or WO3) are only active and stable in alkaline electrolytes. Silicon (Si)-based photocathodes on the other hand are mainly studied under acidic conditions due to their instability in alkaline electrolytes. Here, we show that the in-diffusion of nickel into a 3D Si structure, upon thermal annealing, yields a thin (sub-100 nm), defect-free nickel silicide (NiSi) layer. This has allowed us to design and fabricate a Si microwire photocathode with a NiSi interlayer between the catalyst and the Si microwires. Upon electrodeposition of the catalyst (here, nickel molybdenum) on top of the NiSi layer, an efficient, Si-based photocathode was obtained that is stable in strongly alkaline solutions (1 M KOH). The best-performing, all-earth-abundant microwire array devices exhibited, under AM 1.5G simulated solar illumination, an ideal regenerative cell efficiency of 10.1%.
Project description:The low activity of the oxygen reduction reaction in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells is a major barrier for electrocatalysis, and hence needs to be optimized. Tuning the surface electronic structure of platinum-based bimetallic alloys, a promising oxygen reduction reaction catalyst, plays a key role in controlling its interaction with reactants, and thus affects the efficiency. Here we report that a dealloying process can be utilized to experimentally fabricate the interface between dealloyed platinum-nickel alloy and amorphous nickel boride membrane. The coating membrane works as an electron acceptor to tune the surface electronic structure of the platinum-nickel catalyst, and this composite catalyst composed of crystalline platinum-nickel covered by amorphous nickel boride achieves a 27-times enhancement in mass activity relative to commercial platinum/carbon at 0.9?V for the oxygen reduction reaction performance. Moreover, this interactional effect between a crystalline surface and amorphous membrane can be readily generalized to facilitate the 3-times higher catalytic activity of commercial platinum/carbon.
Project description:With the massive consumption of fossil fuels and its detrimental impact on the environment, methods of generating clean power are urgent. Hydrogen is an ideal carrier for renewable energy; however, hydrogen generation is inefficient because of the lack of robust catalysts that are substantially cheaper than platinum. Therefore, robust and durable earth-abundant and cost-effective catalysts are desirable for hydrogen generation from water splitting via hydrogen evolution reaction. Here we report an active and durable earth-abundant transition metal dichalcogenide-based hybrid catalyst that exhibits high hydrogen evolution activity approaching the state-of-the-art platinum catalysts, and superior to those of most transition metal dichalcogenides (molybdenum sulfide, cobalt diselenide and so on). Our material is fabricated by growing ternary molybdenum sulfoselenide particles on self-standing porous nickel diselenide foam. This advance provides a different pathway to design cheap, efficient and sizable hydrogen-evolving electrode by simultaneously tuning the number of catalytic edge sites, porosity, heteroatom doping and electrical conductivity.
Project description:The electroreduction of water for sustainable hydrogen production is a critical component of several developing clean-energy technologies, such as water splitting and fuel cells. However, finding a cheap and efficient alternative catalyst to replace currently used platinum-based catalysts is still a prerequisite for the commercialization of these technologies. Here we report a robust and highly active catalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction that is constructed by in situ growth of molybdenum disulfide on the surface of cobalt diselenide. In acidic media, the molybdenum disulfide/cobalt diselenide catalyst exhibits fast hydrogen evolution kinetics with onset potential of -11?mV and Tafel slope of 36?mV per decade, which is the best among the non-noble metal hydrogen evolution catalysts and even approaches to the commercial platinum/carbon catalyst. The high hydrogen evolution activity of molybdenum disulfide/cobalt diselenide hybrid is likely due to the electrocatalytic synergistic effects between hydrogen evolution-active molybdenum disulfide and cobalt diselenide materials and the much increased catalytic sites.
Project description:In recent decades, fuel cell technology has been undergoing revolutionary developments, with fundamental progress being the replacement of electrolyte solutions with polymer electrolytes, making the device more compact in size and higher in power density. Nowadays, acidic polymer electrolytes, typically Nafion, are widely used. Despite great success, fuel cells based on acidic polyelectrolyte still depend heavily on noble metal catalysts, predominantly platinum (Pt), thus increasing the cost and hampering the widespread application of fuel cells. Here, we report a type of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) employing a hydroxide ion-conductive polymer, quaternary ammonium polysulphone, as alkaline electrolyte and nonprecious metals, chromium-decorated nickel and silver, as the catalyst for the negative and positive electrodes, respectively. In addition to the development of a high-performance alkaline polymer electrolyte particularly suitable for fuel cells, key progress has been achieved in catalyst tailoring: The surface electronic structure of nickel has been tuned to suppress selectively the surface oxidative passivation with retained activity toward hydrogen oxidation. This report of a H–O PEFC completely free from noble metal catalysts in both the positive and negative electrodes represents an important advancement in the research and development of fuel cells.
Project description:The development of a low-cost, high-performance platinum-group-metal-free hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cell is hindered by the lack of a hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst at the anode. Here we report that a composite catalyst, nickel nanoparticles supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes, has hydrogen oxidation activity similar to platinum-group metals in alkaline electrolyte. Although nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes are a very poor hydrogen oxidation catalyst, as a support, it increases the catalytic performance of nickel nanoparticles by a factor of 33 (mass activity) or 21 (exchange current density) relative to unsupported nickel nanoparticles. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the nitrogen-doped support stabilizes the nanoparticle against reconstruction, while nitrogen located at the edge of the nanoparticle tunes local adsorption sites by affecting the d-orbitals of nickel. Owing to its high activity and low cost, our catalyst shows significant potential for use in low-cost, high-performance fuel cells.
Project description:Efficient generation of hydrogen from water-splitting is an underpinning chemistry to realize the hydrogen economy. Low cost, transition metals such as nickel and iron-based oxides/hydroxides have been regarded as promising catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction in alkaline media with overpotentials as low as ~200?mV to achieve 10?mA?cm-2, however, they are generally unsuitable for the hydrogen evolution reaction. Herein, we show a Janus nanoparticle catalyst with a nickel-iron oxide interface and multi-site functionality for a highly efficient hydrogen evolution reaction with a comparable performance to the benchmark platinum on carbon catalyst. Density functional theory calculations reveal that the hydrogen evolution reaction catalytic activity of the nanoparticle is induced by the strong electronic coupling effect between the iron oxide and the nickel at the interface. Remarkably, the catalyst also exhibits extraordinary oxygen evolution reaction activity, enabling an active and stable bi-functional catalyst for whole cell water-splitting with, to the best of our knowledge, the highest energy efficiency (83.7%) reported to date.