Atomic layer deposition of nickel carbide for supercapacitors and electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution†
We report a new atomic layer deposition (ALD) process for nickel carbide (Ni3C). The process uses bis(1,4-di-tert-butyl-1,3-diazabutadienyl)nickel(II) and H2 plasma and is able to produce smooth, pure, crystalline Ni3C thin films in an ideal self-limiting ALD growth fashion. Using this ALD process, a uniform thin layer of Ni3C can be conformally coated on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to afford a core–shell nanostructured Ni3C/CNT composite. The ALD-prepared Ni3C/CNT composite is demonstrated to show excellent performance for supercapacitors and electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution.