Nitrogen-doped flexible carbon cloth for durable metal free electrocatalyst for overall water splitting


Water electrolysis is one of the greenest ways to generate clean energy. However, it is critical to develop durable and cost-effective electrocatalysts using earth-abundant materials for overall water splitting. Here we report, a facile method to fabricate N-doped cotton cloth as an electrocatalyst. The N-doped cotton cloth showed outstanding performance as an electrocatalyst for overall water splitting. For oxygen evolution reaction (OER), N-doped cotton cloth requires a low overpotential of 351 mV to deliver 10 mA/cm2 of current density with a Tafel slope of 88 mV/dec. On the other hand, it requires 233 mV to achieve a current density of 10 mA/cm2 for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) with a Tafel slope of 135 mV/dec. Furthermore, the electrocatalyst showed outstanding electrocatalytic stability and flexibility. The observed overpotential and stability are among the best for the metal-free electrocatalyst. Such a binder-free approach for fabrication of high performance, durable and flexible bi-functional (HER and OER) electrocatalyst could be a promising way to generate green energy from water.

Publication Title

Surface and Coatings Technology