Novel Microporous Nanoalloy Graphene Composite for Electrocatalytic Water Splitting


With the rise of the global energy demand, water splitting into its components (H2 and O2) is one of the most promising approaches to store solar energy in the form of fuel cell. Electrocatalytic water splitting depends on two main chemical reactions: hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Being the most thermodynamically demanding reaction, catalysts that can facilitate the OER at moderate energy expenses, high conversion efficiency and demonstrated durability under the working conditions are actively being pursued.

The functional materials group at the Center for Materials Science (CMS) at Zewail City of Science and Technology, led by Prof. Mohamed Alkordi, director of the Materials Science program and co-director of CMS have synthesized a novel composite of Ni/Fe nanoalloy atop graphene nanosheets (NiFe@G). The new composite was synthesized from non-precious metal salts and organic ligands to produce the hybrid ultramicroporous SIFSIX-3-NiFe homogeneously deposited atop graphene nanosheets followed by an annealing process to attain the true active catalyst. The developed NiFe@G displayed good mechanical strength, thermal and electrical conductivity with exceptional performance towards electrocatalytic OER.

The reported methodology opens more doors for designing novel multifunctional heterogeneous electrocatalysts. This work was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry –Dalton Transactions (