Developing earth-abundant and active electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) as replacements for conventional noble metal catalysts is of scientific and technological importance for achieving cost-effective and efficient conversion and storage of renewable energy. However, most of the promising candidates thus far are exclusively metal-based catalysts, which are disadvantaged by relatively restricted electron mobility, corrosion susceptibility, and detrimental environmental influences. Herein, hierarchically porous nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) codoped carbon nanofibers directly grown on conductive carbon paper are prepared through an electrochemically induced polymerization process in the presence of aniline monomer and phosphonic acid. The resultant material exhibits robust stability (little activity attenuation after 12 h continuous operation) and high activity with low overpotential (310 mV at 10 mA cm−2) toward electrocatalytic oxygen production, with performance comparable to that of the precious iridium oxide (IrO2) benchmark. Experimental measurements reveal that dual doping of N and P can result in an increased active surface area and abundant active sites in comparison with the single doped and pristine carbon counterparts, and density functional theory calculations indicate that N and P dopants can coactivate the adjacent C atoms, inducing synergistically enhanced activity toward OER.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)