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Nano Research

Article Title

Enhanced electrocatalytic activity of Co@N-doped carbon nanotubes by ultrasmall defect-rich TiO2 nanoparticles for hydrogen evolution reaction

Authors

Jiayuan Yu, School of Environment and Energy, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment and Pollution Control, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China School of Physics and Telecommunication Engineering, South China Normal University, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China
Weijia Zhou, School of Environment and Energy, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment and Pollution Control, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China
Tanli Xiong, School of Environment and Energy, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment and Pollution Control, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China
Aili Wang, School of Environment and Energy, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment and Pollution Control, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China School of Physics and Telecommunication Engineering, South China Normal University, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China
Shaowei Chen, School of Environment and Energy, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment and Pollution Control, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Benli Chu, School of Physics and Telecommunication Engineering, South China Normal University, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China

Keywords

ultrasmall nanoparticle, TiO2, defect structure, carbon nanotube, hydrogen-evolution reaction

Abstract

ABSTRACT Despite being technically possible, splitting water to generate hydrogen is practically unfeasible, mainly because of the lack of sustainable and efficient earth-abundant catalysts for the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER). Herein, we report a durable and highly active electrochemical HER catalyst based on defect-rich TiO2 nanoparticles loaded on Co nanoparticles@N-doped carbon nanotubes (D-TiO2/Co@NCT) synthesized by electrostatic spinning and a subsequent calcining process. The ultrasmall TiO2 nanoparticles are 1.5–2 nm in size and have a defect-rich structure of oxygen vacancies. D-TiO2/Co@NCT exhibits excellent HER catalytic activity in an acidic electrolyte (0.5 M H2SO4), with a low onset potential of −57.5 mV (1 mA·cm–2), a small Tafel slope of 73.5 mV·dec–1, and extraordinary long-term durability. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, and theoretical calculations confirm that the Ti3+ defect-rich structure can effectively regulate the catalytic activity for electrochemical water splitting.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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