Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Nanoscale
Homologous NiO, Ni3S2, and Ni2P nanoarrays were obtained by thermolysis, sulfuration, and phosphorization of the Ni(SO4)0.3OH1.4 belt-like precursors. The three types of porous nickel compound films grown on nickel foam with a thickness of ∼8 μm have been used as anodes and cathodes in a two-electrode setup for overall water splitting. The electrode pairing of NixMy//NixMy (M = O, S, and P) for electrocatalysis in order of superiority is as follows: NiO//Ni2P > Ni3S2//Ni2P > Ni2P//Ni2P > Ni3S2//Ni3S2 > NiO//Ni3S2 > NiO//NiO. The other two sets of NixMy with different thicknesses of ∼5 and ∼11 μm also follow the abovementioned order. The well matched electrode pair of NiOOER//Ni2PHER only needs 1.65 V, whereas NiO//NiO pair needs 1.84 V to afford the current of 10 mA cm(-2) in 1 mol L(-1) of aqueous KOH solution. In particular, the current density retention of the NiO//Ni2P reached 92% after 120 hours of electrolysis at 1.70 V (NiO//NiO only maintains 72% after 30-hour electrolysis). The novelty of this study focuses on fabricating a well matched electrode pair to substantially enhance its electrochemical performance and durability, which would provide a new insight into developing non-noble, highly efficient, and stable electrode pairs.