Recently, the team led by Professor Liu Xiaohe, from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Central South University (CSU), has made a series of progress in the field of low-cost electrocatalytic materials. International authoritative journals includingAdvanced Functional Materials,Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, andSmallhave successively published the latest research results of the team.
As an important sustainable new energy technology, electrocatalytic water decomposition has attracted much worldwide attention. Precious metal-based compounds (Ru-based, Ir-based, etc.) are commonly used catalytic materials, but the expensive cost and extremely low storage capacity limit their large-scale application, so that the industry urgently needs to find low-cost high-performance electrocatalytic materials. The team prepared a new material - polymer carbon nitride (g-C3N4, CN) two-dimensional nanosheets loaded with nickel oxide (NiO) nanocrystals, which can form a highly conductive interface by constructing metallic Ni-N bonds, so as to greatly improve the catalytic efficiency. The strategy has been successfully extended to other transition metal oxides (Co3O4, Fe2O3, CuO, etc.). The work was published in the authoritative journal in materials,Advanced Functional Materials, with the School of Materials Science and Engineering of Central South University as the first unit, the 2017-year master student Liao Chenxi and the 2016-year master student Yang Baopeng as the co-first authors, the Associate Professor Zhang Ning, Professor Liu Xiaohe and Professor Renzhi MA (from the National Institute of Materials Science of Japan) as the co-corresponding authors.
(NiO/CN material and NiO/CN material versus other materials in microstructure and electrocatalytic property)
At the same time, the team also developed a nano-catalyst with a transition metal-based laminar serpentine structure to further achieve high-efficiency electrocatalysis. By designing and synthesizing different proportions of Co- and Ni-based serpentine CoxNi3-xGe2O5(OH)4nanosheets, the electronic energy band structure and conductive properties of the material are adjusted to effectively improve the catalytic efficiency, and this material exhibits superior catalytic activity and stability to those of traditional transition metal hydroxides and commercial RuO2under both alkaline and neutral conditions. This work was published in the authoritative journal in catalysis,Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, with the School of Materials Science and Engineering of Central South Universityas the first unit, the 2016-year master student Yang Baopeng as the first author, and the Associate Professor Zhang Ning and Professor Liu Xiaohe as the co-corresponding authors.
In addition, the team prepared a novel two-dimensional composite nanocatalyst using a two-dimensional metal-organic framework (2D MOF) nanosheet as a precursor. A nitrogen-doped Ni-Ni3S2@carbon composite nanocatalyst was prepared in virtue of solvothermal reaction and heat treatment by introducing pyridine as an inhibitor, which greatly improves the catalytic performance and provides a new idea for synthesis of two-dimensional metal-metal sulfide@carbon multicomponent composites. This work was published in the authoritative journal in materials,Small, with the School of Materials Science and Engineering of Central South University as the first unit, the 2015-year Ph.D. student Lin Yifan and the Associate Professor Chen Gen as the co-first authors, and the Professor Liu Xiaohe and Professor Renzhi MA as the co-corresponding authors.
This year, the team also published research results on low-cost electrocatalytic materials in other authoritative journals such asMaterials HorizonsandNanoscale Horizons. The research work was funded by the Hunan Provincial Innovation Research Group Program and the National Natural Science Foundation.
Source: School of Materials Science and Engineering