Researchers at UC Santa Cruz South and the China University of Technology have developed a graphene-based nanostructured composite material that shows impressive performance as a catalyst for the electrochemical splitting of water to produce hydrogen. An efficient, low-cost catalyst is essential for realizing the promise of hydrogen as a clean, environmentally friendly fuel.
The team has been investigating the use of carbon-based nanostructured materials as catalysts for the reaction that generates hydrogen from water. In a recent study, they obtained good results by incorporating ruthenium ions into a sheet-like nanostructure composed of carbon nitride. Performance was further improved by combining the ruthenium-doped carbon nitride with graphene, to form a layered composite.