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Research Article

Hydrogen spillover bridged dual nano-islands triggered by built-in electric field for efficient and robust alkaline hydrogen evolution at ampere-level current density

Kecheng Tong1,§Liangliang Xu2,§Hanxu Yao3,4,§Xingkun Wang1,3( )Canhui Zhang1Fan Yang1Lei Chu1Jinwoo Lee2( )Heqing Jiang3( )Minghua Huang1( )
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 291, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea
Qingdao New Energy Shandong Laboratory, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266101, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

§ Kecheng Tong, Liangliang Xu, and Hanxu Yao contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract

The difference of work function of Ru-RuP2 dual nano-islands induced the spontaneous generation of the built-in electric field (BEF) between them, which could serve as the driving force for triggering the fast hydrogen spillover on bridged Ru-RuP2 dual nano-islands, enabling its superior alkaline hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) activity and robust stability at ampere-level current density.

Abstract

Employing the alkaline water electrolysis system to generate hydrogen holds great prospects but still poses significant challenges, particularly for the construction of hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts operating at ampere-level current density. Herein, the unique Ru and RuP2 dual nano-islands are deliberately implanted on N-doped carbon substrate (denoted as Ru-RuP2/NC), in which a built-in electric field (BEF) is spontaneously generated between Ru-RuP2 dual nano-islands driven by their work function difference. Experimental and theoretical results unveil that such constructed BEF could serve as the driving force for triggering fast hydrogen spillover process on bridged Ru-RuP2 dual nano-islands, which could invalidate the inhibitory effect of high hydrogen coverage at ampere-level current density, and synchronously speed up the water dissociation on Ru nano-islands and hydrogen adsorption/desorption on RuP2 nano-islands through hydrogen spillover process. As a result, the Ru-RuP2/NC affords an ultra-low overpotential of 218 mV to achieve 1.0 A·cm−2 along with the superior stability over 1000 h, holding the great promising prospect in practical applications at ampere-level current density. More importantly, this work is the first to advance the scientific understanding of the relationship between the constructed BEF and hydrogen spillover process, which could be enlightening for the rational design of the cost-effective alkaline HER catalysts at ampere-level current density.

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Nano Research
Pages 5050-5060
Cite this article:
Tong K, Xu L, Yao H, et al. Hydrogen spillover bridged dual nano-islands triggered by built-in electric field for efficient and robust alkaline hydrogen evolution at ampere-level current density. Nano Research, 2024, 17(6): 5050-5060. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-024-6520-x
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Received: 15 November 2023
Revised: 25 January 2024
Accepted: 28 January 2024
Published: 22 March 2024
© Tsinghua University Press 2024
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