Pyridine-modulated Ni/Co bimetallic metal-organic framework nanoplates for electrocatalytic oxygen evolution

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  • ReceivedFeb 15, 2020
  • AcceptedApr 9, 2020
  • PublishedJun 5, 2020


Funded by

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(U1904215,21671170,21875207)

the Top-notch Academic Programs Project of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions(TAPP)

the Program for New Century Excellent Talents of the University in China(NCET-13-0645)

the Six Talent Plan(2015-XCL-030)

Qinglan Project. We also acknowledge the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions and the technical support we received from the Testing Center of Yangzhou University.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (U1904215, 21671170 and 21875207), the Top-notch Academic Programs Project of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (TAPP), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents of the University in China (NCET-13-0645), the Six Talent Plan (2015-XCL-030) and Qinglan Project. We also acknowledge the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions and the technical support we received from the Testing Center of Yangzhou University. We also acknowledge the support from the postdoctoral fund of Yangzhou University.

Interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Contributions statement

Pang H designed this study and supervised the experimental work. Bai Y performed the synthesis and characterizations. Zhang G, Zheng S and Li Q performed the characterizations; Bai Y wrote the paper with support from Pang H and Xu Q. All authors contributed to the general discussion.

Author information

Yang Bai received his PhD degree in inorganic chemistry from Nanjing University. After working at the R&D Department of Yangnong Chemical, he joined Prof. Huan Pang’s group as a postdoctoral fellow in Yangzhou University. His research is focused on the functional nanomaterials for electrochemical applications.

Huan Pang received his PhD degree from Nanjing University in 2011. He is now a university distinguished professor at Yangzhou University and Young Changjiang Scholars of the Ministry of Education. He is a member in the editorial board of FlatChem, young editorial board member of Chinese Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, and a managing editor of EnergyChem. His research interests include the development of inorganic nanostructures and their applications in nanoelectrochemistry focused on energy devices.


Supplementary information

Experimental details and supporting data are available in the online version of the paper.


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  • Figure 1

    Morphological and structural characterizations of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM). (a) SEM and (b) TEM images of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM). (c) AFM image of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM), inset: measured thickness of individual nanoplate. (d) HRTEM image of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM). (e) High-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy image of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM) and corresponding EDX elemental mapping images of (f) Ni, (g) Co, (h) C, (i) N, (j) O and (k) S in Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM).

  • Scheme 1

    Schematic illustration of the Ni/Co MOF nanoplates NixCoy-bpy(PyM) and cuboid MOF bulks NixCoy-bpy for the oxygen evolution reaction.

  • Figure 2

    Morphological characterizations of NixCoy-bpy(PyM). (a1–d1) SEM, (a2–d2) TEM and (a3–d3) AFM images of (a) Ni-bpy(PyM), (b) Ni1.5Co0.5-bpy(PyM), (c) Ni1Co1-bpy(PyM), and (d) Co-bpy(PyM) nanoplates. The measured thicknesses of the nanoplates are marked in (a3–d3).

  • Figure 3

    The XRD patterns and crystal structures of the MOFs. (a) Powder XRD patterns of the Ni/Co MOFs. (b, c) Structural schematic graphs of Co-bpy [Co3(4,4'-bpy)2(SO4)3(H2O)11]n. (b) Crystal stacking along a axis. The coordination of cobalt: octahedrally coordinated in three patterns. (c) Crystal stacking along c axis.

  • Figure 4

    XPS of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM). High-resolution (a) Co 2p, (b) Ni 2p, (c) N 1s, and (d) C 1s spectra.

  • Figure 5

    OER performance of NixCoy-bpy(PyM). (a) OER polarization curves of NixCoy-bpy(PyM) in 1.0 mol L−1 KOH at scan rate of 5 mV s−1. (b) OER Tafel plots obtained from the OER polarization curves in (a). (c) Plots of the capacitive currents as a function of scan rate of NixCoy-bpy(PyM). (d) OER polarization curves of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM) before and after 3000 CV cycles.

  • Figure 6

    Post-CV structural characterization of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM). (a) TEM, (b) HRTEM images and (c) SAED pattern of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM) after 1000 CV cycles. (d–f) High-resolution XPS spectra of (d) Ni 2p, (e) Co 2p and (f) O 1s of Ni0.5Co1.5-bpy(PyM) before (bottom) and after (upper) 1000 CV cycles.


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