NiOx nanoparticles supported on polyethylenimine functionalized CNTs as efficient electrocatalysts for supercapacitor and oxygen evolution reaction
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Ni oxide based nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely used as electrocatalysts in the electrochemical energy storage and conversion applications. In this paper, NiOx NPs are successfully synthesized by the self-assembly of Ni precursor onto polyethylenimine functionalized carbon nanotubes (PEI-CNTs) assisted with microwave radiation. NiOx NPs with size around 2–3 nm are homogenously dispersed on the PEI-CNTs supports with no aggregation. The electrochemical activity of NiOx NPs on PEI-CNTs, NiOx/PEI-CNTs, as effective electrocatalysts is studied for supercapacitor and oxygen evolution reaction in alkaline solutions. NiOx/PEI-CNTs show a capacitance of 1728 and 1576 F g−1 based on active material, and 221 and 394 F g−1 based on total catalyst loading on 12.5% and 25% NiOx/PEI-CNTs, respectively, which is substantially higher than 152 F g−1 of unsupported NiO. The NiOx/PEI-CNTs electrodes exhibit reversible and stale capacitance of ~1200 F g−1 based on active materials after 2000 cycles at a high current density of 10 A g−1. NiOx/PEI-CNTs also exhibit significantly higher activities for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) of water electrolysis, achieving a current density of 100 A g−1 at an overpotential of 0.35 V for 25% NiOx/PEI-CNTs. It is believed that the uniformly dispersed nano-sized NiOx NPs and synergistic effect between the NiOx NPs and PEI-CNTs is attributed to the high electrocatalytic performance of NiOx/PEI-CNTs electrocatalysts. The results demonstrate that NiOx NPs supported on PEI-CNTs are highly effective electrocatalysts for electrochemical energy storage and conversion applications.
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