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Nickel phosphide catalysts for water oxidation


July 2017

by Junyuan Xu, Xian-Kui Wei, José Diogo Costa, José Luis Lado, Bryan Owens-Baird, Liliana P L Gonçalves, Soraia P S Fernandes, Marc Heggen, Dmitri Y Petrovykh, Rafal E Dunin-Borkowski, Kirill Kovnir, and Yury V. Kolen’ko

An approach to significantly enhance the performance of the cost-effective nickel phosphide catalyst for electrochemical water oxidation has been developed via interfacing with Mg oxide-hydroxide. We have synthesized Ni2P nanoparticles anchored on Mg2O(OH)2-like phase supported on carbon paper. During the oxygen evolution reaction, the well-defined Ni2P nanoparticles serve as precursors for the immediate formation of active and stable nanostructured nickel hydroxide catalyst.

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As the anode for the oxygen evolution reaction in an alkaline electrolyte, the electrode shows a modest Tafel slope of 48 mV dec–1 and a large turnover frequency of 0.05 s–1 at an overpotential of 0.4 V. Microstructure and composition studies of the catalyst suggest that interfacial strain between Mg- and Ni-containing phases is responsible for high catalytic activity. A significant increase in catalytic activity upon the combination of magnesium compound and transition-metal phosphide suggests an interesting strategy for the controlled and reproducible preparation of active Earth-abundant oxygen-evolving catalysts.

Further reading:

Junyuan Xu, Xian-Kui Wei, José Diogo Costa, José Luis Lado, Bryan Owens-Baird, Liliana P L Gonçalves, Soraia P S Fernandes, Marc Heggen, Dmitri Y Petrovykh, Rafal E Dunin-Borkowski, Kirill Kovnir, and Yury V. Kolen’ko:

Interface engineering in nanostructured nickel phosphide catalyst for efficient and stable water oxidation,

ACS Catalysis 7 (2017) 5450–5455.


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