Flexible bifunctional electrode for alkaline water splitting with long-term stability

Ganguly, Abhijit and McGlynn, Ruairi J. and Boies, Adam and Maguire, Paul and Mariotti, Davide and Chakrabarti, Supriya (2024) Flexible bifunctional electrode for alkaline water splitting with long-term stability. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 16 (10). 12339–12352. ISSN 1944-8244 (https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.3c12944)

[thumbnail of Ganguly-etal-ACSAMI-2024-Flexible-bifunctional-electrode-for-alkaline-water-splitting-with-long-term-stability]
Text. Filename: Ganguly-etal-ACSAMI-2024-Flexible-bifunctional-electrode-for-alkaline-water-splitting-with-long-term-stability.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (7MB)| Preview


Progress in electrochemical water-splitting devices as future renewable and clean energy systems requires the development of electrodes composed of efficient and earth-abundant bifunctional electrocatalysts. This study reveals a novel flexible and bifunctional electrode (NiO@CNTR) by hybridizing macroscopically assembled carbon nanotube ribbons (CNTRs) and atmospheric plasma-synthesized NiO quantum dots (QDs) with varied loadings to demonstrate bifunctional electrocatalytic activity for stable and efficient overall water-splitting (OWS) applications. Comparative studies on the effect of different electrolytes, e.g., acid and alkaline, reveal a strong preference for alkaline electrolytes for the developed NiO@CNTR electrode, suggesting its bifunctionality for both HER and OER activities. Our proposed NiO@CNTR electrode demonstrates significantly enhanced overall catalytic performance in a two-electrode alkaline electrolyzer cell configuration by assembling the same electrode materials as both the anode and the cathode, with a remarkable long-standing stability retaining ∼100% of the initial current after a 100 h long OWS run, which is attributed to the “synergistic coupling” between NiO QD catalysts and the CNTR matrix. Interestingly, the developed electrode exhibits a cell potential (E10) of only 1.81 V with significantly low NiO QD loading (83 μg/cm2) compared to other catalyst loading values reported in the literature. This study demonstrates a potential class of carbon-based electrodes with single-metal-based bifunctional catalysts that opens up a cost-effective and large-scale pathway for further development of catalysts and their loading engineering suitable for alkaline-based OWS applications and green hydrogen generation.