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Electrospun Carbon Nanofibers with Embedded Co-Ceria Nanoparticles for Efficient Hydrogen Evolution and Overall Water Splitting

1
School of Advanced Materials Science and Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), 16419 Suwon, Korea
2
School of Chemical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), 16419 Suwon, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(4), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040856
Received: 24 December 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage)
In this study, simple electrospinning combined with pyrolysis were used to fabricate transition-metal-based-nanoparticle-incorporated carbon nanofiber (CNF) electrocatalysts for a high-efficiency hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and overall water splitting. Co-CeO2 nanoparticle-incorporated carbon nanofibers (Co-CeO2@CNF) exhibit an outstanding electrocatalytic HER performance with an overpotential and Tafel slope of 92 mV and 54 mV/dec, respectively. For the counterpart, electrolysis, we incorporate the widely used Ni2Fe catalyst with a high oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity into the carbon nanofiber (Ni2[email protected]). To evaluate their electrochemical properties for the overall water splitting, Co-CeO2@CNF and Ni2[email protected] were used as the HER and OER electrocatalysts in an alkaline electrolyzer. With the paired Co-CeO2@CNF and Ni2[email protected] electrodes, an overall water splitting current density of 10 mA/cm2 was achieved by applying 1.587 V across the electrodes with a remarkably lower overpotential of 257 mV compared to that of an electrolyzer comprised of Pt/C and IrO2 electrodes (400 mV). Owing to the conformal incorporation of nanoparticles into the CNF, the electrocatalysts exhibit significant long-term durability over 70 h of overall water splitting. This study provides rational designs of catalysts with high electrochemical catalytic activity and durability to achieve overall water splitting.
Keywords: electrospinning; carbon nanofiber support; overall water splitting; transition-metal-based electrocatalysts electrospinning; carbon nanofiber support; overall water splitting; transition-metal-based electrocatalysts
MDPI and ACS Style

Woo, S.; Lee, J.; Lee, D.S.; Kim, J.K.; Lim, B. Electrospun Carbon Nanofibers with Embedded Co-Ceria Nanoparticles for Efficient Hydrogen Evolution and Overall Water Splitting. Materials 2020, 13, 856.

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