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Hierarchically structured multi-shell nanotube arrays by self-assembly for efficient water oxidation


Photosynthesis in plants occurs at structures which form by self-assembly under ambient conditions, while catalysts used for artificial photosynthesis normally need special conditions like high pressure or temperature. Herein, a facile and cost effective way for the synthesis of a highly complex and efficient oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalyst, formed solely by self-assembly in solution, is presented. Without the need of any instrumentation except for a glass beaker, highly active nickel-iron-copper multi-shell nanotube arrays are produced by immersion of a copper plate into three different solutions. Cu(OH)2 nanowires are first self-grown on the copper substrate in a basic solution and subsequently converted to novel iron-copper hydroxide nanotubes by immersion in an Fe3+ solution by a sacrificial template-accelerated hydrolysis mechanism. At last, an additional layer of nickel nanosheets is added by treating in a nickel chemical bath. The resultant electrode shows a current density as high as 100 mA/cm2 at an overpotential of 320 mV with a Tafel slope of 32 mV/dec, while also exhibiting long time stability. The use of inexpensive first-row transition metals, the simple preparation methods with no energy consumption, the unique hierarchical structure of the nanosheets covered nanotubes, and the high catalytic performance are remarkable, and this study may therefore lead to more convenient and competitive routes for water splitting.

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Oct 2017, accepted on 26 Dec 2017 and first published on 27 Dec 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07695A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Hierarchically structured multi-shell nanotube arrays by self-assembly for efficient water oxidation

    S. Czioska, J. Wang, X. Teng, S. Zuo, S. Xie and Z. Chen, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07695A

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