Blending Cr2O3 into a NiO-Ni Electrocatalyst for Sustained Water Splitting

Ming Gong, Wu Zhou, Michael James Kenney, Rich Kapusta, Sam Cowley, Yingpeng Wu, Bingan Lu, Meng Chang Lin, Di Yan Wang, Jiang Yang, Bing Joe Hwang, Hongjie Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)


The rising H2 economy demands active and durable electrocatalysts based on low-cost, earth-abundant materials for water electrolysis/photolysis. Here we report nanoscale Ni metal cores over-coated by a Cr2O3-blended NiO layer synthesized on metallic foam substrates. The Ni@NiO/Cr2O3 triphase material exhibits superior activity and stability similar to Pt for the hydrogen-evolution reaction in basic solutions. The chemically stable Cr2O3 is crucial for preventing oxidation of the Ni core, maintaining abundant NiO/Ni interfaces as catalytically active sites in the heterostructure and thus imparting high stability to the hydrogen-evolution catalyst. The highly active and stable electrocatalyst enables an alkaline electrolyzer operating at 20 mA cm-2 at a voltage lower than 1.5 V, lasting longer than 3 weeks without decay. The non-precious metal catalysts afford a high efficiency of about 15 % for light-driven water splitting using GaAs solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11989-11993
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • chromium oxide
  • electrocatalysts
  • hydrogen-evolution reaction
  • sustainable chemistry
  • water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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