Electrochemical water splitting used for generating hydrogen has attracted increasingly attention due to energy and environmental issues. It is a major challenge to design an efficient, robust and inexpensive electrocatalyst to achieve preferable catalytic performance. Herein, a novel three-dimensional (3D) electrocatalyst was prepared by decorating nanostructured biological material-derived carbon nanofibers with in situ generated cobalt-based nanospheres (denoted as CNF@Co) through a facile approach. The interconnected porous 3D networks of the resulting CNF@Co catalyst provide abundant channels and interfaces, which remarkably favor both mass transfer and oxygen evolution. The as-prepared CNF@Co shows excellent electrocatalytic activity towards the oxygen evolution reactions with an onset potential of about 0.445 V vs. Ag/AgCl. It only needs a low overpotential of 314 mV to achieve a current density of 10 mA/cm<sup>2</sup> in 1.0 M KOH. Furthermore, the CNF@Co catalyst exhibits excellent stability towards water oxidation, even outperforming commercial IrO<inf>2</inf> and RuO<inf>2</inf> catalysts.
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