The rational design of non-precious-metal bifunctional catalysts of oxygen and hydrogen evolution reactions that generate a high current density and stability at low over potentials is of great significance in the field of water electrolysis. Herein, we report a facile and controllable method for the in-situ growth of urchin-like FeOOH–NiOOH catalyst on Ni foam (FeOOH–NiOOH/NF). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirms that the proportion of Ni and Fe species with high valence state gradually increase with the extension of growth time. Electrochemical studies have shown that the optimized FeOOH–NiOOH/NF-24 h and −12 h catalysts demonstrate excellent electrochemical activity and stability in oxygen/hydrogen evolution reactions. Moreover, the cell voltage is reduced around 0.15 V at high current density (0.5–1.0 A cm−2) as compared to the state-of the art RuO2/NF(+)||Pt–C/NF(−) system, far better than most of the previously reported catalysts. The cost analyst revealed that using FeOOH–NiOOH/NF catalyst as both electrodes could potentially reduce the price of H2 around 7% compared with traditional industrial electrolyzers. These excellent electrocatalytic properties can be attributed to the unique urchin-like structure and the synergy between Ni and Fe species, which can not only provide more active sites and accelerate electron transfer, but also promote electrolyte transport and gas emission.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 21965005), Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi Province (2018JJA120134, 2018GXNSFAA281220), Project of High-Level Talents of Guangxi (F-KA18015, 2018ZD004).