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Nickel cobalt phosphide with three-dimensional nanostructure as a highly efficient electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction in both acidic and alkaline electrolytes

Abstract

Transition metal phosphides (TMPs) are promising candidates for noble metal free electrocatalysts in water splitting applications. In this work, we present the facile synthesis of nickel cobalt phosphide electrocatalyst with three-dimensional nanostructure (3D-NiCoP) on the nickel foam, via hydrothermal reaction and phosphorization. The as-prepared electrocatalyst exhibits an excellent activity for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in both acidic and alkaline electrolytes, with small overpotentials to drive 10 mA/cm2 (80 mV for 0.5 M H2SO4, 105 mV for 1 M KOH), small Tafel slopes (37 mV/dec for 0.5 M H2SO4, 79 mV/dec for 1 M KOH), and satisfying durability in long-term electrolysis. 3D-NiCoP also shows a superior HER activity compared to single metal phosphide, such as cobalt phosphide and nickel phosphide. The outstanding performance for HER suggests the great potential of 3D-NiCoP as a highly efficient electrocatalyst for water splitting technology.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51702234).

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Correspondence to Yantao Chen or Zhihao Yuan.

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Ma, B., Yang, Z., Chen, Y. et al. Nickel cobalt phosphide with three-dimensional nanostructure as a highly efficient electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction in both acidic and alkaline electrolytes. Nano Res. 12, 375–380 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-018-2226-2

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Keywords

  • nickel cobalt phosphide
  • water splitting
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • electrocatalyst