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Phosphorus doped NiCo2S4 nanocrystals grown on electrospun carbon nanofibers as ultra-efficient electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction

Abstract

The development of highly efficient noble-metal-free electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is still a challenge nowadays. In this work, we prepared a highly active electrocatalyst containing phosphorus doped NiCo2S4 nanocrystals grown on carbon nanotubes embedded carbon nanofibers (P-NiCo2S4@CNT/CNF). CNT is involved to enhance the electrical conductivity of the three-dimensional CNF network through a facile co-electrospinning method, which can facilitate the electron transfer to the attached HER active material. Templated by this nanofiber network, the electroactive NiCo2S4 is confined to grow perpendicularly onto the CNT/CNF template via a hydrothermal reaction, thus exposing more catalytic active sites. Doping of P into the hybrid via a phosphidation reaction improves the electronic structure of electroactive NiCo2S4, thus decreasing the energy barrier during the HER process. Owing to the synergistic effects from electrical enhancement, nanostructured morphology, along with P-doping induced optimization in electronic structure, P-NiCo2S4@CNT/CNF hybrid exhibits excellent HER performance, with an ultra-low onset overpotential (η) of 27 mV, a remarkable current density of 10 mA cm-2 at η as low as 74 mV, an impressive exchange current density of 0.79 mA cm-2 as well as excellent long-term durability. Furthermore, its electroactivity exceeds most reported noble-metal-free electrocatalysts and is comparable to that of Pt, suggesting its great potential as a highly efficient HER catalyst.

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 May 2017, accepted on 15 Jun 2017 and first published on 15 Jun 2017


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7NH00066A
Citation: Nanoscale Horiz., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Phosphorus doped NiCo2S4 nanocrystals grown on electrospun carbon nanofibers as ultra-efficient electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction

    H. Gu, W. Fan and T. Liu, Nanoscale Horiz., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NH00066A

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