Nitrogen-plasma treated hafnium oxyhydroxide as an efficient acid-stable electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution and oxidation reactions

Xiaofang Yang, Fang Zhao, Yao Wen Yeh, Rachel S. Selinsky, Zhu Chen, Nan Yao, Christopher George Tully, Yiguang Ju, Bruce E. Koel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Development of earth-abundant electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution and oxidation reactions in strong acids represents a great challenge for developing high efficiency, durable, and cost effective electrolyzers and fuel cells. We report herein that hafnium oxyhydroxide with incorporated nitrogen by treatment using an atmospheric nitrogen plasma demonstrates high catalytic activity and stability for both hydrogen evolution and oxidation reactions in strong acidic media using earth-abundant materials. The observed properties are especially important for unitized regenerative fuel cells using polymer electrolyte membranes. Our results indicate that nitrogen-modified hafnium oxyhydroxide could be a true alternative for platinum as an active and stable electrocatalyst, and furthermore that nitrogen plasma treatment may be useful in activating other non-conductive materials to form new active electrocatalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1543
JournalNature communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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