Date of Award

Spring 12-11-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry (MSChem)



First Advisor

Dr. Ram Gupta

Second Advisor

Dr. Khamis Siam

Third Advisor

Dr. Jody Neef

Fourth Advisor

Dr. John Franklin


With increasing demand for energy, there is an increased need to find effective ways to store the available energy to sustain current and future generations. Thus, the research investigates whether polymetric nanofibers support metal oxide are a good solution to store energy. The materials used for synthesis includes N-dimethylformamide, nickel nitrate, cobalt nitrate and polyacrylonitrile.

These fibers are developed three phases. First, a homogenous mixture is prepared, followed by electrospinning of the mixture. Next, calcination of the prepared nanofibers was done to generate the 1D nanofibers embedded with metal oxides. The samples are primarily tested for supercapacitor applications, hydrogen evolution reactions and oxygen evolution reactions.

The findings of the experiment were that, for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), NiO exhibited an overpotential of 380 mV. After sulfurization, the overpotential changed from 380 mV to 311 mV. For the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) , a combination of NiO and Co3O4 has shown the overpotential of 96 mV, which was almost unchanged after sulfurization. The fabricated materials were effective for HER and OER applications. Typically, about 300 mV overpotential for the OER materials are considered appropriate materials for commercial application. The material fabricated in the experiment (sulfurized nickel oxide) exhibit an overpotential of 311 mV for OER application, for which is counted and thus deemed an outstanding outcome. The best material for HER application is platinum, which demonstrates the overpotential of 70 mV. Again, one of the materials fabricated (combination of NiO and Co3O4) for the experiment showed overpotential of 96 mV. Any material that exhibits an overpotential under 100 mV is considered an effective material for the HER application. For supercapacitor applications, sulfurized NiO showed specific capacitance of 215 F/g.

Sulfurized nickel oxide showed good results for OER and Super capacitor applications, however mixture of nickel oxide and cobalt oxide shows good results for the HER application.


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