Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 23, pp 14515–14523 | Cite as

Partially reduced Ni2+, Fe3+-layered double hydroxide for ethanol electrocatalysis

  • Yibo Gao
  • Zhenzhen Zhao
  • Huimin Jia
  • Xiaotong Yang
  • Xiaodong Lei
  • Xianggui Kong
  • Fazhi ZhangEmail author
Energy materials


Direct alcohol fuel cells can directly convert the chemical energy stored in small liquid alcohol molecules into electricity. The non-noble metal oxides and oxyhydroxides have poor electric conductivity, limiting their electrochemical performance. Herein, Ni3Fe/NiFe(OH)x heterostructure with Ni3Fe alloy nanoparticles confined in amorphous NiFe(OH)x matrix is facilely fabricated by partial reduction of Ni2+, Fe3+-layered double hydroxide (NiFe-LDH) precursor in flowing hydrogen. Small Ni3Fe particles with about 4 nm diameter are clearly recognized after reduction at 250 °C. Further raising the reduction temperature to 350 °C results in a greater degree of segregation of Ni3Fe each other. Moreover, the 350 °C reduction causes the formation of NiFeOx, accompanied by vanishment of the NiFe(OH)x. Ethanol electrooxidation is carried out for evaluating the electrocatalytic performance of these samples. The electrocatalytic activity of NiFe-LDH precursor is enhanced by controlling H2 reduction at 250 °C. The high electrical conductivity, created by Ni3Fe metal alloy, is proposed to result in the high electrocatalytic activity of the Ni3Fe/Ni3Fe(OH)x heterostructure.



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21376019, 21676013) and Beijing Engineering Center for Hierarchical Catalysts.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina

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