Recent progress made in the mechanism comprehension and design of electrocatalysts for alkaline water splitting
Alkaline water splitting is an attractive method for sustainable hydrogen production. Owing to the sluggish kinetics of alkaline water reduction and oxidation, it is crucial to understand the mechanism of the hydrogen evolution reaction/oxygen evolution reaction (HER/OER) and construct efficient electrocatalysts based on the structure–activity relationship. This review describes the fundamentals of the alkaline HER and OER, the design of noble and nonnoble HER electrocatalysts with low energy barriers, OER electrocatalysts based on binding energy, electronic structure, lattice oxygen, and surface reconstruction as well as the recent developments of bifunctional HER/OER electrocatalysts. Future perspectives towards alkaline water splitting electrocatalysts are also proposed.