Cuprous oxide (Cu2O) composites can be used to catalyze the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Pure Cu2O materials with a good HER catalytic activity, in contrast, are rare.
Yonghong Ni, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, and colleagues have developed a vapor–solid reaction route for the preparation of porous Cu2O nanorods as HER catalysts. The team used Cu(OH)2 nanorods as a precursor and ethylene glycol as a reductant. The Cu(OH)2 nanorods were prepared by combining copper sulfate, ammonia, and sodium hydroxide in water. The resulting precursors and the ethylene glycol were placed in two adjacent open containers in a furnace and heated to 200–280 °C under an argon atmosphere to obtain the desired porous Cu2O nanorods.
The team found that Cu2O nanorods prepared at 200 °C have a much better catalytic activity for the HER than those obtained at higher temperatures. This catalyst has a low overpotential and high durability. The team attributes the good performance to the high surface area and the fast charge transport of the catalyst.
- Simple vapor–solid-reaction route for porous Cu2O nanorods with good HER catalytic activity,
Meifang Wang, Xiaomei Cheng, Yonghong Ni,
Dalton Trans. 2019.