Here, we report the unique transformation of one-dimensional tubular mixed oxide nanocomposites of iridium (Ir) and cobalt (Co) denoted as IrxCo1-xOy, where x is the relative Ir atomic content to the overall metal content. The formation of a variety of IrxCo1-xOy (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) crystalline tubular nanocomposites was readily achieved by electrospinning and subsequent calcination process. Structural characterization clearly confirmed that IrxCo1-xOy polycrystalline nanocomposites had a tubular morphology consisting of Ir/IrO2 and Co3O4, where Ir, Co, and O were homogeneously distributed throughout the entire nanostructures. The facile formation of IrxCo1-xOy nanotubes was mainly ascribed to the inclination of Co3O4 to form the nanotubes during the calcination process, which could play a critical role in providing a template of tubular structure and facilitating the formation of IrO2 by being incorporated with Ir precursors. Furthermore, the electroactivity of obtained IrxCo1-xOy nanotubes was characterized for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) with rotating disk electrode voltammetry in 1 M NaOH aqueous solution. Among diverse IrxCo1-xOy, Ir0.46Co0.54Oy nanotubes showed the best OER activity (the least-positive onset potential, greatest current density, and low Tafel slope), which was even better than that of commercial Ir/C. The Ir0.46Co0.54Oy nanotubes also exhibited a high stability in alkaline electrolyte. Expensive Ir mixed with cheap Co at an optimum ratio showed a greater OER catalytic activity than pure Ir oxide, one of the most efficient OER catalysts.
- mixed metal oxide nanotubes
- oxygen evolution reaction