Three-Dimensionally Ordered Macro-/Mesoporous Ni as a Highly Efficient Electrocatalyst for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction


Three-dimensionally (3D) ordered macro-/mesoporous (3DOM/m) Ni is fabricated by the chemical reduction deposition method using lyotropic liquid crystals (LLC) to template the mesostructure within the regular voids of a colloidal crystal (opal). The thereby achieved structural advantages of combining well-ordered bicontinuous mesopores with 3D interconnected periodic macropores, such as abundant exposed catalytically active sites, efficient mass transport, and high electrical conductivity, make this non-noble metal structure an excellent hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) electrocatalyst. The 3DOM/m Ni exhibits a low onset overpotential of 63 mV (vs. RHE) and a small Tafel slope of 52 mV per decade, as well as a long-term durability in alkaline medium. These distinct features of the 3DOM/m Ni render it a promising alternative to Pt-based HER electrocatalysts.



Liquid crystals, Nickel, Precious metals, Reduction (Chemistry), Colloidal crystals, Electric conductivity

Support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51172014 and 20971012), and the National 973 Program of China (2009CB219903).


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