Nitrogen-Doped Nanoporous Carbon Membranes with Co/CoP Janus-Type Nanocrystals as Hydrogen Evolution Electrode in Both Acidic and Alkaline Environments

Hong Wang, Shixiong Min, Qiang Wang, Debao Li, Gilberto Casillas, Chun Ma, Yangyang Li, Zhixiong Liu, Lain-Jong Li, Jiayin Yuan, Markus Antonietti, Tao Wu

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Self-supported electrocatalysts being generated and employed directly as electrodes for energy conversion has been intensively pursued in the fields of materials chemistry and energy. Herein, we report a synthetic strategy to prepare freestanding hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped nanoporous graphitic carbon membranes functionalized with Janus-type Co/CoP nanocrystals (termed as HNDCM-Co/CoP), which were successfully applied as a highly efficient, binder-free electrode in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Benefited from multiple structural merits, such as a high degree of graphitization, three-dimensionally interconnected micro/meso/macropores, uniform nitrogen doping, well-dispersed Co/CoP nanocrystals, as well as the confinement effect of the thin carbon layer on the nanocrystals, HNDCM-Co/CoP exhibited superior electrocatalytic activity and long-term operation stability for HER under both acidic and alkaline conditions. As a proof-of-concept of practical usage, a 5.6 cm × 4 cm × 60 μm macroscopic piece of HNDCM-Co/CoP was prepared in our laboratory. Driven by a solar cell, electroreduction of water in alkaline conditions (pH 14) was performed, and H was produced at a rate of 16 mL/min, demonstrating its potential as real-life energy conversion systems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4358-4364
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 7 2017

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