A vanadium-nickel oxynitride layer for enhanced electrocatalytic nitrogen fixation in neutral media

Bin Chang, Lequan Deng, Shouzhi Wang, Dong Shi, Zizheng Ai, Hehe Jiang, Yongliang Shao, Lei Zhang, Jianxing Shen, Yongzhong Wu*, Xiaopeng Hao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The application of transition-metal oxides (TMOs) in electrocatalytic nitrogen fixation still is hindered by their sluggish reaction kinetics and weak stabilization. In this work, a vanadium-nickel oxynitride (VNiON) layer is designed and synthesized on the corresponding oxide nanosheets to solve the above crucial issues. The first-principles kinetics analyses theoretically prove that the delocalized electron environment of VNiON enhanced π backdonation, which is conducive to nitrogen absorption and activation. Experimentally, both the ammonia production rate (∼6.78 μg h-1 cmcat.-2) and faradaic efficiency (∼5.57%) of VNiON are enhanced by 2-fold relative to those of its corresponding oxide under neutral conditions. Meanwhile, the stability of oxide is enormously improved by introducing a VNiON layer. The mechanism of improving the nitrogen fixation performance of oxides is investigated. This work provides a novel strategy of constructing oxides with advantageous structures for extensive electrochemical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Contract No. 51872162 and 11890700), and the Major Basic Program of the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (Contract ZR2017ZB0317 and ZR2018MEM013).

Publisher Copyright:
This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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