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The looming fossil energy crisis and serious environment and climate issues urgently call for sustainable energy systems and next-generation energy storage technologies. Instead of a traditional "carbon cycle" based on fossil energy, the "hydrogen cycle" has emerged and may be a promising alternative. With a water splitting device, H2 can be generated from water by electricity or solar energy, and energy transforms between electrical/solar and chemical energy in rechargeable batteries. However, the core issue of water splitting, oxygen evolution reaction (OER) (4OH- —> 2H2O + O2 + 4e-, in base), is a kinetically sluggish half-reaction, which requires a high overpotential and hinders the development of water splitting.

Recently, a research group from China, led by Prof. Qiang Zhang in Tsinghua University, has developed a novel graphene/metal hydroxide composite with superior oxygen evolution activity. This work is published in the journal Advanced Materials.

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