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Tungsten-coated nano-boron carbide as a non-noble metal bifunctional electrocatalyst for oxygen evolution and hydrogen evolution reactions in alkaline media

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Abstract

Herein, tungsten-coated nano-boron carbide (W-WB4-WCx/B4C) particles were prepared by heating a mixture of B4C and W powder using a spark plasma coating (SPC) method. During the discharge treatment process, metal W in the mixture is activated and reacts with B4C to form WCx, WB4, and graphite nanoribbons. The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) performance of W-WB4-WCx/B4C is tested in an alkaline solution, and the results show that the W-WB4-WCx/B4C composite electrocatalyst exhibits a low overpotential of 0.36 V at 10 mA cm−2 for the OER, a small overpotential of −0.19 V (j = 10 mA cm−2) for the HER, as well as good stability. The significantly enhanced electrocatalytic performance of the W-WB4-WCx/B4C composites is attributed to their unique structure, in which WCx and WB4 not only improve the catalytic activity for the OER and HER, but also effectively anchor the W coating on the substrate.

Graphical abstract: Tungsten-coated nano-boron carbide as a non-noble metal bifunctional electrocatalyst for oxygen evolution and hydrogen evolution reactions in alkaline media

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Oct 2017, accepted on 16 Nov 2017 and first published on 16 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR08092A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article
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    Tungsten-coated nano-boron carbide as a non-noble metal bifunctional electrocatalyst for oxygen evolution and hydrogen evolution reactions in alkaline media

    Y. Zhang, Y. Wang, C. Han, S. Jia, S. Zhou and J. Zang, Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR08092A

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