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Given the inherent potential of seawater, industrial wastewater, and residential water as inherent feedstocks for hydrogen production through water electrolysis, there is a critical demand for the exploration of robust and stable hydrogen-evolving catalysts that can operate effectively across a diverse range of pH conditions. However, the pursuit of hydrogen-evolving electrocatalysts that demonstrate both good stability and high efficiency over a wide pH range remains a formidable challenge. Here we report the rational design and synthesis of an outstanding nanoporous hybrid electrocatalyst consisting of intermetallic cobalt-molybdenum alloy particles anchoring on MoO2 cuboid arrays, which demands very low overpotentials of 72, 123 and 134 mV to deliver a current density of −100 mA·cm−2 for hydrogen evolution reaction under alkaline, neutral and acidic conditions, respectively. These catalytic activities are superior to most non-precious-metal-based catalysts documented in the literatures, and are even comparable to noble metal catalysts. In particular, this alloy electrocatalyst exhibits excellent stability at 50 or 300 mA·cm−2 without obvious activity degradation, which is further supported by the undetectable changes in the surface chemical valence states on the basis of in-situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic studies. This study provides an innovative strategy for the design and synthesis of effective non-noble intermetallic catalysts for pH-universal hydrogen evolution over a wide pH range.

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Publication history
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Acknowledgements

Publication history

Received: 29 February 2024
Revised: 17 April 2024
Accepted: 22 April 2024
Published: 08 June 2024

Copyright

© Tsinghua University Press 2024

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

This project was supported by the funding projects from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 52172197 and 22309051), the Youth 1000 Talent Program of China, Major Projects “Takes the lead” of Natural Science Foundation (No. 2021JC0008) of Hunan Province, and Interdisciplinary Research Program (No. 2023JC201) of Hunan Normal University in Changsha, China.

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