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Super-Hydrophilic Leaflike Sn4P3 on the Porous Seamless Graphene–Carbon Nanotube Heterostructure as an Efficient Electrocatalyst for Solar-Driven Overall Water Splitting

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journal contribution
posted on 21.02.2022, 14:36 authored by Sk Riyajuddin, Mansi Pahuja, Parrydeep Kaur Sachdeva, Kashif Azmi, Sushil Kumar, Mohd Afshan, Firdaus Ali, Jenifar Sultana, Takahiro Maruyama, Chandan Bera, Kaushik Ghosh
Water splitting using renewable energy resources is an economic and green approach that is immensely enviable for the production of high-purity hydrogen fuel to resolve the currently alarming energy and environmental crisis. One of the effective routes to produce green fuel with the help of an integrated solar system is to develop a cost-effective, robust, and bifunctional electrocatalyst by complete water splitting. Herein, we report a superhydrophilic layered leaflike Sn4P3 on a graphene–carbon nanotube matrix which shows outstanding electrochemical performance in terms of low overpotential (hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), 62 mV@10 mA/cm2, and oxygen evolution reaction (OER), 169 mV@20 mA/cm2). The outstanding stability of HER at least for 15 days at a high applied current density of 400 mA/cm2 with a minimum loss of potential (1%) in acid medium infers its potential compatibility toward the industrial sector. Theoretical calculations indicate that the decoration of Sn4P3 on carbon nanotubes modulates the electronic structure by creating a higher density of state near Fermi energy. The catalyst also reveals an admirable overall water splitting performance by generating a low cell voltage of 1.482 V@10 mA/cm2 with a stability of at least 65 h without obvious degradation of potential in 1 M KOH. It exhibited unassisted solar energy-driven water splitting when coupled with a silicon solar cell by extracting a high stable photocurrent density of 8.89 mA/cm2 at least for 90 h with 100% retention that demonstrates a high solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of ∼10.82%. The catalyst unveils a footprint for pure renewable fuel production toward carbon-free future green energy innovation.