Construction of MnxCoyO4/Ti electrocatalysts for efficient bifunctional water splitting†
In this work, we report the design and synthesis of non-noble metal-based electrocatalysts for effective overall water splitting in alkaline solutions for the development of hydrogen energy. The electrocatalysts were synthesized by a one-step hydrothermal method similar to microflower structure electrocatalysts. The synergistic effect between the special Echinops sphaerocephalus nanostructure and the nanowire can greatly improve the conductivity of the nanomaterial due to its high activity quality, fast ion transport, and exposure of more active sites, thus resulting in a better catalytic activity and a longer material stability of the electrocatalyst. For MnxCoyO4/Ti in alkaline aqueous solutions, a current density of 10 mA cm−2 is required when the voltage is only 1.60 V. In addition, the hydrogen evolution activity of electrocatalysts is 168 mV at 10 mA cm−2, the Tafel slope is 174 mV dec−1, and the oxygen evolution activity of electrocatalysts is 229 mV at 10 mA cm−2, which showed good long-term stability within 12 h, even better than that of previously reported electrocatalysts.