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In Situ Structural Evolution of Nickel Boride Catalyst towards Synergistic Geometric and Electronic Optimization of Oxygen Evolution Reaction

Abstract

The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) as a kinetically sluggish half-reaction plays crucial roles in the overall efficiency of some important electrochemical energy conversion systems. Herein we report the synthesis of nickel boride layers supported on nickel plate via a direct solid boronization of the nickel substrate with amorphous boron powder. The resulting boronized nickel plate is investigated systematically to illustrate its surface structural evolution and activity variation during OER. The initial electrochemical OER testing process results in the in situ generation on nickel boride of thin nanosheet films that consist of metaborate-containing oxyhydroxides, as the efficicent catalytic active phase. And corrspondingly, this electrochemically activated, boronized nickel plate exhibits a nearly ten-fold increase in catalytic activity compared to the nickel plate, and gives remarkable catalytic stability for over 1500 hours. The enhanced catalytic performance during electrochemical activation is attributed to the synergistic catalytic effects produced by the thin nanosheet structural feature of oxyhydroxides (i.e., geometric optimization) and the modification of electronic structure of oxyhydroxides by metaborates (i.e., electronic optimization). Our results open new insights on boride-based oxygen evolution electrocatalysts, and provide new strategy for the design of high-performance electrocatalytic materials for OER.

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Jan 2019, accepted on 05 Feb 2019 and first published on 08 Feb 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA00489K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    In Situ Structural Evolution of Nickel Boride Catalyst towards Synergistic Geometric and Electronic Optimization of Oxygen Evolution Reaction

    J. Li, H. Chen, Y. Liu, R. Gao and X. Zou, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA00489K

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