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Engineering a nanotubular mesoporous cobalt phosphide electrocatalyst by the Kirkendall effect towards highly efficient hydrogen evolution reactions

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Abstract

Tailoring the size and controlling the morphology of particular nano-architectures are considered as two promising strategies to improve the catalytic performance of metal nanocrystals towards hydrogen evolution reactions (HERs). Herein, mesoporous cobalt phosphide nanotubes (CoP-NTs) with a three-dimensional network structure have been obtained through a facile and efficient electrospinning technique combined with thermal stabilization and phosphorization treatments. The thermal stabilization process has been demonstrated to play a key role in the morphological tailoring of Co3O4 nanotubes (Co3O4-NTs). As a result, the CoP-NTs show one-dimensional hollow tubular architecture instead of forming a worm-like tubular CoP structure (W-CoP-NTs) or severely aggregated CoP powder (CoP-NPs) which originate from the Co3O4 nanotubes without thermal stabilization treatment and Co3O4 nanoparticles, respectively. Satisfyingly, under an optimized phosphorization degree, the CoP-NT electrode exhibits a low onset overpotential of 53 mV with a low Tafel slope of 50 mV dec−1 during the HER process. Furthermore, the CoP-NT electrode is capable of driving a large cathodic current density of 10 mA cm−2 at an overpotential of 152 mV, which is much lower than those of its contrast samples, i.e. CoP-NPs (211 mV) and W-CoP-NTs (230 mV). Therefore, this work provides a feasible and general strategy for constructing three-dimensionally organized mesoporous non-noble metal phosphide nanotubes as promising alternative high-performance electrocatalysts for the commercial platinum ones.

Graphical abstract: Engineering a nanotubular mesoporous cobalt phosphide electrocatalyst by the Kirkendall effect towards highly efficient hydrogen evolution reactions

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Aug 2017, accepted on 23 Sep 2017 and first published on 26 Sep 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR05825J
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article
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    Engineering a nanotubular mesoporous cobalt phosphide electrocatalyst by the Kirkendall effect towards highly efficient hydrogen evolution reactions

    Y. Miao, F. Li, Y. Zhou, F. Lai, H. Lu and T. Liu, Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR05825J

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