Open Access Nano Commentary

Influence of the nanofibrous morphology on the catalytic activity of NiO nanostructures: an effective impact toward methanol electrooxidation

Nasser AM Barakat12*, Mohammad Ali Abdelkareem2, Mohamed El-Newehy3 and Hak Yong Kim1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Organic Materials and Fiber Engineering, College of Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, South Korea

2 Faculty of Engineering, Chemical Engineering Department, Minia University, El Minia 61519, Egypt

3 Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:402  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-402

Published: 28 September 2013

Abstract

In this study, the influence of the morphology on the electrocatalytic activity of nickel oxide nanostructures toward methanol oxidation is investigated. Two nanostructures were utilized: nanoparticles and nanofibers. NiO nanofibers have been synthesized by using the electrospinning technique. Briefly, electrospun nanofiber mats composed of polyvinylpyrolidine and nickel acetate were calcined at 700°C for 1 h. Interestingly, compared to nanoparticles, the nanofibrous morphology strongly enhanced the electrocatalytic performance. The corresponding current densities for the NiO nanofibers and nanoparticles were 25 and 6 mA/cm2, respectively. Moreover, the optimum methanol concentration increased to 1 M in case of the nanofibrous morphology while it was 0.1 M for the NiO nanoparticles. Actually, the one-dimensional feature of the nanofibrous morphology facilitates electrons' motion which enhances the electrocatalytic activity. Overall, this study emphasizes the distinct positive impact of the nanofibrous morphology on the electrocatalytic activity which will open a new avenue for modification of the electrocatalysts.

Keywords:
Methanol electrooxidation; NiO nanofibers; Electrospinning; Direct methanol fuel cells