ROYAL SOCIETY OPEN SCIENCE, v. 5, no. 9, Article no. 180927
The development of electrochemical devices for renewable energy depends to a large extent on fundamental improvements in catalysts for oxygen evolution reactions (OERs). OER activity of transition metal sulfides (TMSs) can be improved by compositing with highly conductive supports possessing a high surface-to-volume ratio, such as reduced graphene oxide (rGO). Herein we report on the relationship between synthetic conditions and the OER catalytic properties of TMSs and rGO (TMS-rGO) hybrids. Starting materials, reaction temperature and reaction time were controlled to synergistically boost the OER catalytic activity of TMS-rGO hybrids. Our results showed that (i) compared with sulfides, hydroxides are favourable as starting materials to produce the desired TMS-rGO hybrid nanostructure and (ii) high reaction temperatures and longer reaction times can increase physicochemical interaction between TMSs and rGO supports, resulting in highly efficient OER catalytic activity.