Multi-Component Fe–Ni Hydroxide Nanocatalyst for Oxygen Evolution and Methanol Oxidation Reactions under Alkaline Conditions

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electrocatalyst, nonprecious metal, core-shell nanoparticles, oxygen evolution reaction, alcohol oxidation, fuel cell


Iron-incorporated nickel-based materials show promise as catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) half-reaction of water electrolysis. Nickel has also exhibited high catalytic activity for methanol oxidation, particularly when in the form of a bimetallic catalyst. In this work, bimetallic iron–nickel nanoparticles were synthesized using a multistep procedure in water under ambient conditions. When compared to monometallic iron and nickel nanoparticles, Fe–Ni nanoparticles show enhanced catalytic activity for both OER and methanol oxidation under alkaline conditions. At 1 mA/cm2, the overpotential for monometallic iron and nickel nanoparticles was 421 and 476 mV, respectively, while the bimetallic Fe–Ni nanoparticles had a greatly reduced overpotential of 256 mV. At 10 mA/cm2, bimetallic Fe–Ni nanoparticles had an overpotential of 311 mV. Spectroscopy characterization suggests that the primary phase of nickel in Fe–Ni nanoparticles is the more disordered alpha phase of nickel hydroxide.