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Constructing Ultrathin CoP nanomeshes by Er-doping for Highly Efficient Bifunctional Electrocatalyst for Overall Water Splitting

Abstract

Exploring highly efficient non-noble-metal bifunctional catalysts for water electrolysis is vital for the commercial production of hydrogen. In this study, Er, Nd, Ce, La and Gd doped CoP has been prepared to study the effects of the rare earth (RE) element doping toward both hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER), among which Er-doped CoP is found to be the best bifunctional catalyst. The Er doped CoP ultrathin nanomeshes (NMs) can be synthesized with a larger surface area (123.4 m2 g-1) and double-layer capacitance (143.1 mF cm-2) than pure CoP nanoplates, and therefore with more active sites. Benefiting from the ultrathin nanomesh morphology and electronic structure modification, the as-prepared Er-doped CoP NMs show superior electrocatalytic activity in alkaline medium, which require overpotentials of only 256 mV for OER to afford a current density of 10 mA cm-2, obviously higher than that of the most reported non-noble metal catalysts. Additionally, the Er-doped CoP NMs also display a favorable catalytic performance for HER in both acidic and alkaline medium with an over potential 52 mV and 66 mV at 10 mA cm-2, respectively. The excellent bifunctional nature of Er-doped CoP NMs will make the electrolysis device more operational and cost effective. The corresponding two-electrode electrolysis system needs a cell voltage of merely 1.58 V at 10 mA cm-2 in alkaline medium, and maintains stable electrolysis for 25 h, which compares favorably with those previously reported bifunctional catalysts. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations indicated that the superior performance of such catalyst resulted from the smaller overpotential and hydrogen adsorption energy (|ΔGH*|). This study provides an appealing method to improve performance which can be extended to other transition metal catalysts.

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jan 2019, accepted on 11 Feb 2019 and first published on 12 Feb 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA00530G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Constructing Ultrathin CoP nanomeshes by Er-doping for Highly Efficient Bifunctional Electrocatalyst for Overall Water Splitting

    G. Zhang, B. Wang, J. Bi, D. Fang and S. Yang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA00530G

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