The development of cost-efficient, active, and stable electrode materials as bifunctional catalysts for electrochemical water splitting is crucial to high-performance renewable energy storage and conversion devices. In this work, the synthesis of Co-based multi-metal borides nanochains with amorphous structure is reported for boosting the oxygen evolution (OER) and hydrogen evolution reactions (HER) by one-pot NaBH 4 reduction of Co 2+ , Ni 2+ , and Fe 2+ under ambient temperature. In all the investigated Co-based metal borides, NiCoFeB nanochains show the excellent OER performance with a low overpotential of 284 mV at 10 mA cm -2 and Tafel slope of 46 mV dec -1 , respectively, together with excellent catalytic stability, and robust HER performance with an overpotential of 345 mV at 10 mA cm -2 . The density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal that the excellent electrocatalytic performance is mainly attributed to optimal electronic structure by tuning the Co-3d band activities by the incorporation of Ni and Fe for enhanced water splitting via the potentially existed Co 0 state. Moreover, the electrolyzer using NiCoFeB nanochains as anode and cathode offers 10 mA cm -2 at a cell voltage of 1.81 V, comparable to commercial Pt/C // Ir/C, providing a simple method to design and explore highly efficient and cheap bifunctional electrocatalysts for overall water splitting.
- Co-based multimetal borides
- overall water splitting
- regulable electronic structure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)