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Activating rhodium phosphide-based catalysts for the pH-universal hydrogen evolution reaction

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Abstract

Highly active and stable Pt-free electrocatalysts for hydrogen production via water splitting are of great demand for future energy systems. Herein, we report a novel hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalyst consisting of rhodium phosphide (Rh2P) nanoparticles as the core and N-doped carbon (NC) as the shell (Rh2P@NC). In a wide pH range, our catalyst not only possesses a small overpotential at 10 mA cm−2 (∼9 mV in 0.5 M H2SO4, ∼46 mV in 1.0 M PBS and ∼10 mV in 1.0 M KOH), but also demonstrates high stability. Importantly, all these performances are far superior to commercial Pt/C catalysts for HER. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest HER performance reported so far in acidic and basic media. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal that the introduction of phosphorus can significantly lower the proton adsorption energy of Rh/NC, thereby benefiting surface hydrogen generation. Moreover, this synthetic strategy for Rh2P@NC is also applied to other transition metal phosphides (TMPs)/nitrogen-doped carbon heterostructures (such as Ru2P@NC, Fe2P@NC, WP@NC etc.) with advanced performance toward HER and beyond.

Graphical abstract: Activating rhodium phosphide-based catalysts for the pH-universal hydrogen evolution reaction

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Apr 2018, accepted on 23 May 2018 and first published on 23 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR02854K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    Activating rhodium phosphide-based catalysts for the pH-universal hydrogen evolution reaction

    Z. Pu, I. S. Amiinu, D. He, M. Wang, G. Li and S. Mu, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR02854K

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