T.A. gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the National Science Foundation (DMR-0968937, CBET-1134289, NSF-ACIF, and NSF Special Creativity grant).
Cobalt-Embedded Nitrogen-Rich Carbon Nanotubes Efficiently Catalyze Hydrogen Evolution Reaction at All pH Values†
Article first published online: 20 MAR 2014
© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Volume 126, Issue 17, pages 4461–4465, April 22, 2014
How to Cite
Zou, X., Huang, X., Goswami, A., Silva, R., Sathe, B. R., Mikmeková, E. and Asefa, T. (2014), Cobalt-Embedded Nitrogen-Rich Carbon Nanotubes Efficiently Catalyze Hydrogen Evolution Reaction at All pH Values. Angew. Chem., 126: 4461–4465. doi: 10.1002/ange.201311111
- Issue published online: 17 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 20 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Received: 22 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 4 FEB 2013
- National Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: DMR-0968937, CBET-1134289
Despite being technically possible, splitting water to generate hydrogen is still practically unfeasible due mainly to the lack of sustainable and efficient catalysts for the half reactions involved. Herein we report the synthesis of cobalt-embedded nitrogen-rich carbon nanotubes (NRCNTs) that 1) can efficiently electrocatalyze the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) with activities close to that of Pt and 2) function well under acidic, neutral or basic media alike, allowing them to be coupled with the best available oxygen-evolving catalysts—which also play crucial roles in the overall water-splitting reaction. The materials are synthesized by a simple, easily scalable synthetic route involving thermal treatment of Co2+-embedded graphitic carbon nitride derived from inexpensive starting materials (dicyandiamide and CoCl2). The materials’ efficient catalytic activity is mainly attributed to their nitrogen dopants and concomitant structural defects.