Ethylene glycol-mediated one-pot synthesis of Fe incorporated α-Ni(OH)2 nanosheets with enhanced intrinsic electrocatalytic activity and long-term stability for alkaline water oxidation†
Sustainable electrocatalytic water splitting stipulates the development of cheap, efficient and stable electrocatalysts to promote comparatively sluggish oxygen evolution reaction. We have synthesized iron-incorporated pure phase α-nickel hydroxide, Ni0.8Fe0.2(OH)2 electrocatalyst utilizing N,N,N′,N′-Tetramethylethane-1,2-diamine (TMEDA) and ethylene glycol (EG) following a simple one-pot synthesis process. PXRD and FTIR data suggest that the intercalation of EG in the interlayer spacing promotes amorphousness of the material. FESEM and TEM analyses suggest that the catalyst possesses hierarchical sheet-like morphology and BET measurements indicated the surface area of 50 m2 g−1 with high mesoporosity. Electrochemical studies suggest that Ni0.8Fe0.2(OH)2 prepared using water–EG mixture is the most efficient electrocatalyst for OER activity as it requires only 258 mV overpotential (considering backward LSV) on a glassy carbon electrode to achieve the benchmark current density of 10 mA cm−2geo. Additionally, the catalyst shows remarkable long-term stability for up to 7 days. The efficiency of Ni0.8Fe0.2(OH)2 electrocatalyst is reflected in its low Tafel slope (43 mV dec−1) and high OER faradaic efficiency (93%). The enhanced activity is attributed to the increase in the interlayer spacing due to the intercalation of EG into the material, which facilitates the transport of ions during the OER process. The overall improved catalytic property is due to the enhanced ionic mobility, controllable textural property, higher per-site activity and increased conductivity for the Ni0.8Fe0.2(OH)2 catalytic network.