Electrochemical water-splitting has been considered as one of the most promising approaches to store renewable electricity in the form of hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen can be generated in a water electrolyzer consisting of a hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) cathode and an oxygen evolution reaction (OER) anode. However, due to the distinctly different catalytic mechanisms, active HER catalysts are often found to be poor OER catalysts, and vice versa. The current benchmark electrolyzer utilizes Pt-based cathode and RuO2/IrO2 anodes to expedite HER and OER, respectively. From a commercialization point-of-view, it is not only the significant cost of noble metal elements that creates economic pressure but also the additional cost generated due to the complications of producing different cathode–anode materials and possible cross-contaminations. Hence the development of a universally active water-splitting catalyst based on Earth-abundant materials is of key interest and a significant innovation.
Using various synthetic strategies and different concepts like strain engineering, alloying etc. the group developed a series of efficient electrocatalysts for water splitting/hydrogen generation like PdCu3, PdBi2, Cu doped Pd17Se15, Ni doped Pd17Se15, Ni3Bi2S2 etc.
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