Both the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are crucial to water splitting, but require alternative active sites. Now, a general pelectron- assisted strategy to anchor single-atom sites (M=Ir, Pt, Ru, Pd, Fe, Ni) on a heterogeneous support is reported. The Matoms can simultaneously anchor on two distinct domains of the hybrid support, four-fold N/C atoms (M@NC), and centers of Co octahedra (M@Co), which are expected to serve as bifunctional electrocatalysts towards the HER and the OER. The Ir catalyst exhibits the best water-splitting performance, showing a low applied potential of 1.603V to achieve 10 mAcm@2 in 1.0m KOH solution with cycling over 5 h. DFT calculations indicate that the Ir@Co (Ir) sites can accelerate the OER, while the Ir@NC3 sites are responsible for the enhanced HER, clarifying the unprecedented performance of this bifunctional catalyst towards full water splitting.
ARC/LP120200432, ARC/DE170100928, ARC/LE0237478
Available for download on Friday, July 10, 2020