University of Oulu

Pham, T., Sharifi, T., Sandström, R., Siljebo, W., Shchukarev, A., Kordas, K., Wågberg, T., Mikkola, J. (2017) Robust hierarchical 3D carbon foam electrode for efficient water electrolysis. Scientific Reports, 7 (1), doi:10.1038/s41598-017-05215-1

Robust hierarchical 3D carbon foam electrode for efficient water electrolysis

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Author: Pham, Tung Ngoc1,2; Sharifi, Tiva3; Sandström, Robin3;
Organizations: 1Technical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Chemical-Biological Centre, Umeå University
2Department of Chemistry, The University of Danang, University of Science and Technology
3Department of Physics, Umeå University
4Microelectronics Research Unit, University of Oulu
5Industrial Chemistry & Reaction Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Process Chemistry Centre, Åbo Akademi University
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Nature Publishing Group, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-09-22


Herein we report a 3D heterostructure comprising a hierarchical macroporous carbon foam that incorporates mesoporous carbon nanotubes decorated with cobalt oxide nanoparticles as an unique and highly efficient electrode material for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in electrocatalytic water splitting. The best performing electrode material showed high stability after 10 h, at constant potential of 1.7 V vs. RHE (reversible hydrogen electrode) in a 0.1 M KOH solution and high electrocatalytic activity in OER with low overpotential (0.38 V vs RHE at 10 mA cm⁻²). The excellent electrocatalytic performance of the electrode is rationalized by the overall 3D macroporous structure and with the firmly integrated CNTs directly grown on the foam, resulting in a large specific surface area, good electrical conductivity, as well as an efficient electrolyte transport into the whole electrode matrix concurrent with an ability to quickly dispose oxygen bubbles into the electrolyte. The eminent properties of the three-dimensional structured carbon matrix, which can be synthesized through a simple, scalable and cost effective pyrolysis process show that it has potential to be implemented in large-scale water electrolysis systems.

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Volume: 7
Article number: 6112
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05215-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
216 Materials engineering
Funding: The Bio4Energy programme & the Kempe Foundations are acknowledged for funding. This work is part of the “Artificial Leaf ” project funded by the Knut & Alice Wallenberg foundation. Support from the Academy of Finland (SuplaCat) is acknowledged. This work was supported by the University of Danang, University of Science and Technology, code number of project: T2017-02-101.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit