loading page

Rare-Earth electrocatalysis: Yttrium- and plasma-enabled YNiCo phospho-nitride hetero-phase nanosheets for high-current water electrolysis
  • +4
  • Huiyang Xiang,
  • Guangliang Chen,
  • Jun Huang,
  • Wei Chen,
  • Zhuoyi Chen,
  • Tongtong Li,
  • Kostya Ostrikov
Huiyang Xiang
Zhejiang Sci-Tech University
Author Profile
Guangliang Chen
Huzhou University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Jun Huang
Gannan Normal University
Author Profile
Wei Chen
Gannan Normal University
Author Profile
Zhuoyi Chen
Zhejiang Sci-Tech University
Author Profile
Tongtong Li
Zhejiang Sci-Tech University
Author Profile
Kostya Ostrikov
Queensland University of Technology
Author Profile

Abstract

Engineering high-performance and low-cost bifunctional catalysts for H2 (HER) and O2 (OER) evolution under industrial electrocatalytic conditions remains challenging. Here, we use the stronger electronegativity of rare-earth yttrium ion (Y3+) to in-situ induce NiCo layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanosheets from the NiCo foam (NCF) treated by a dielectric barrier discharge plasma (PNCF), and then obtain a nitrogen-doped YNiCo phosphide (N-YNiCoP/PNCF) after the phosphating process using RF plasma in nitrogen. The obtained N-YNiCoP/PNCF has a large specific surface area, rich heterointerfaces and the optimized electronic structure, causing a high electrocatalytic activity in HER (331 mV Vs 2000 mA cm-2) and OER (464 mV Vs 2000 mA cm-2) reactions in 1M KOH electrolyte. The X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and DFT quantum chemistry calculations reveal that the coordination number of CoNi decreased with the incorporation of Y atoms, which cause a much shorter bonds of Ni and Co ions and achieving a long-term stability of N-YNiCoP in HER and OER under the simulated industrial conditions. Meanwhile, the CoN-YP5 heterointerface formed by the plasma N-doping is the active center for overall water splitting. This work opens a new direction for designing high-performance rare-earth elements into engineering bifunctional electrocatalysts in the renewable energy field.