Ir-based and Pt-based catalysts have been shown to be the most active catalysts for water splitting via a combination of the oxygen and hydrogen evolution reactions (OER and HER); however, as precious metals they are a rare resource and have a high cost associated with them, limiting their practical use.
While immense research has been made in the development of catalysts for HER under acidic conditions and OER under alkaline conditions separately, to meet practical requirements in water splitting, the coupling of OER and HER is necessary in the same electrolyte.
Therefore to couple HER and OER, a novel 3D Co–Nx|P complex-doped carbon grown on graphene foil has recently been reported. The flexible foil enables both electrochemical and photoelectrochemical water splitting to occur in alkaline medium and exhibited excellent overall-water-splitting activity. The complex-doped carbon catalysts open up pathways for developments in other electrocatalyst applications.