Multi-dimensional collaboration promotes the catalytic performance of 1D MoO3 nanorods decorated with 2D NiS nanosheets for efficient water splitting†
The ability to manipulate heterostructures is of great importance to achieve high-performance electrocatalysts for direct water-splitting devices with excellent activity toward hydrogen production. Herein, a novel top-down strategy involving the in situ transformation of one-dimensional MoO3 nanorod arrays grafted with two-dimensional NiS nanosheets supported on a three-dimensional nickel foam skeleton is proposed. Namely, a heterostructured electrocatalyst on the Ni foam skeleton containing MoO3 nanorod arrays decorated with NiS nanosheets is synthesized by a facile hydrothermal method followed by one-step sulfidation treatment. Experimental analysis confirmed that this novel composite has the merits of a large quantity of accessible active sites, unique distribution of three different spatial dimensions, accelerated mass/electron transfer, and the synergistic effect of its components, resulting in impressive electrocatalytic properties toward the hydrogen evolution reaction and oxygen evolution reaction. Furthermore, an advanced water-splitting electrolyzer was assembled with NiS/MoO3/NF as both the anodic and cathodic working electrode. This device requires a low cell voltage of 1.56 V to afford a water-splitting current density of 10 mA·cm−2 in basic electrolyte, outperforming previously reported electrocatalysts and even state-of-the-art electrocatalysts. More significantly, this work provides a way to revolutionize the design of heterostructured electrocatalysts for the large-scale commercial production of hydrogen using direct water-splitting devices.