A self-supported high-entropy metallic glass with a nanosponge architecture for efficient hydrogen evolution under alkaline and acidic conditions
L. C. Zhang
ORCID : 0000-0003-0661-2051
Advanced Functional Materials
School of Engineering
National Key R&D Program of China Major Program of national Natural Science Foundation of China Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission Hong Kong Branch of National Precious Metals Material Engineering Research Centre Australian Research Council UNSW Faculty Funded Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
ARC Number : DP180101393
Developing highly efficient and durable electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) under both alkaline and acidic media is crucial for the future development of a hydrogen economy. However, state-of-the-art high-performance electrocatalysts recently developed are based on carbon carriers mediated by binding noble elements and their complicated processing methods are a major impediment to commercialization. Here, inspired by the high-entropy alloy concept with its inherent multinary nature and using a glassy alloy design with its chemical homogeneity and tunability, we present a scalable strategy to alloy five equiatomic elements, PdPtCuNiP, into a high-entropy metallic glass (HEMG) for HER in both alkaline and acidic conditions. Surface dealloying of the HEMG creates a nanosponge-like architecture with nanopores and embedded nanocrystals that provides abundant active sites to achieve outstanding HER activity. The obtained overpotentials at a current density of 10 mA cm−2 are 32 and 62 mV in 1.0 m KOH and 0.5 m H2SO4 solutions, respectively, outperforming most currently available electrocatalysts. Density functional theory reveals that a lattice distortion and the chemical complexity of the nanocrystals lead to a strong synergistic effect on the electronic structure that further stabilizes hydrogen proton adsorption/desorption. This HEMG strategy establishes a new paradigm for designing compositionally complex alloys for electrochemical reactions.