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Issue 33, 2017
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Synthesis and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalytic performance of Ni2−xRuxP nanocrystals: enhancing activity by dilution of the noble metal

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Abstract

Aiming to create an efficient, less-expensive catalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), a synthetic protocol is developed to prepare ternary metal phosphide nanoparticles, Ni2−xRuxP, incorporating Ru, a traditional catalyst for OER, and Ni, a highly active but inexpensive metal. Using solution-phase arrested-precipitation reactions, crystalline Ni2−xRuxP particles could be realized for compositions up to x ≤ 1, whereas more Ru-rich compositions, including Ru2P, were amorphous. For x ≤ 1, particles are spherical, of sizes that vary between 5 and 10 nm in diameter (with a clear decreasing trend as the Ru amount is increased), and samples exhibit narrow size distributions (polydispersity < 15%). In contrast, amorphous Ru-rich phases exhibit worm-like morphologies. ICP-MS data indicate the actual metal ratio closely follows the target ratio employed in the synthesis. OER electrocatalytic activity was evaluated for selected compositions over the entire synthesis range (0 ≤ x ≤ 2). Intriguingly, Ru2P proved to be the least active phase (overpotential of 0.56 V at 10 mA cm−2 in 1.0 M KOH) with the best performance observed for the bimetallic Ni1.25Ru0.75P phase (overpotential of 0.34 V). The augmented activity at x = 0.75 is attributed, at least in part, to electronic activation of Ni by Ru, facilitating Ni oxidation and thus decreasing the kinetic barrier for OER.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalytic performance of Ni2−xRuxP nanocrystals: enhancing activity by dilution of the noble metal

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jun 2017, accepted on 28 Jul 2017 and first published on 28 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA05353C
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 17609-17618
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    Synthesis and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalytic performance of Ni2−xRuxP nanocrystals: enhancing activity by dilution of the noble metal

    D. R. Liyanage, D. Li, Q. B. Cheek, H. Baydoun and S. L. Brock, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 17609
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA05353C

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