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Unconventionally fabricating defect-rich NiO nanoparticles within ultrathin metal–organic framework nanosheets to enable high-output oxygen evolution

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Abstract

The high-temperature calcination of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) often leads to a sharp collapse in the abundant pores inside the MOFs and a serious aggregation of metal sites, which are adverse to electrocatalysis performance. Here, a controllable calcination route was developed for the partial decomposition of ultrathin 2D Ni-based MOF (2D Ni-MOF) precursors to fabricate ultrafine NiO nanoparticles (NPs) within the ultrathin 2D Ni-MOF. In particular, 2D Ni-MOF precursors (thickness: ∼2 nm), for the first time, were rapidly synthesized via a microwave-assisted solvothermal method. The controllable calcination route effectively retained the ultrathin 2D porous nanostructure of the MOFs, and simultaneously enabled the formation of defect-rich ultrafine NiO NPs within the 2D Ni-MOF. Benefiting from the unique nanostructure (i.e., ultrathin 2D nanosheets) and highly active sites (i.e., defect-rich NiO NPs), the partially decomposed 2D Ni-MOF-250 exhibited excellent performance for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) with an overpotential of 250 mV at 50 mA cm−2 in 1 M KOH, outperforming those obtained from other reported nonprecious-metal-based electrocatalysts. More importantly, 2D Ni-MOF-250 could achieve the industry-related current density of 1000 mA cm−2 at a small overpotential of 410 mV, demonstrating its promising potential for use in practical applications. Therefore, the controllable calcination route may stand out as a facile yet robust route for smartly fabricating defect-rich metal oxides within MOFs toward efficient electrocatalysis.

Graphical abstract: Unconventionally fabricating defect-rich NiO nanoparticles within ultrathin metal–organic framework nanosheets to enable high-output oxygen evolution

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Article information


Submitted
20 Nov 2019
Accepted
23 Dec 2019
First published
28 Dec 2019

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Unconventionally fabricating defect-rich NiO nanoparticles within ultrathin metal–organic framework nanosheets to enable high-output oxygen evolution

Q. Hu, X. Huang, Z. Wang, G. Li, Z. Han, H. Yang, X. Ren, Q. Zhang, J. Liu and C. He, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA12713E

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