Multimetal Borides Nanochains as Efficient Electrocatalysts for Overall Water Splitting

Yingjie Li, Bolong Huang, Yingjun Sun, Mingchuan Luo, Yong Yang, Yingnan Qin, Lei Wang, Chunji Li, Fan Lv, Weiyu Zhang, Shaojun Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1804212
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2019


  • Co-based multimetal borides
  • nanochains
  • overall water splitting
  • regulable electronic structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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