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Iron phosphide encapsulated in P-doped graphitic carbon as efficient and stable electrocatalyst for hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions

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Abstract

The development of durable and efficient non-noble electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is highly desirable but challenging for the commercialization of renewable energy systems. Herein, a facile strategy is developed for the synthesis of iron phosphide (FeP) nanoparticles protected with an overcoat of “multifunctional” P-doped graphitic carbon as a cost-effective electrocatalyst. The key point is the utilization of MOF-derived iron nanoparticles embedded in graphitic carbon (Fe@GC), which are synthesized via the pyrolysis of the Fe-MIL-88 template and subsequent phosphorization of Fe and simultaneous doping of P in carbon. Compared to the direct phosphorization of Fe-MIL-88, resulting in Fe2P on amorphous carbon (Fe2P@APC), this strategy gives easier access to phosphorization and P doping through pyrolysis temperature regulation. High-temperature pyrolysis can also yield the graphitic carbon encapsulated nanoparticle structure (FeP@GPC), which increases conductivity and prevents agglomeration as well as dissolution under harsh operating conditions, and thus contributes to enhanced activity and long-time stability. The optimized FeP@GPC exhibits superior activity compared to Fe2P/FeP@GPC and Fe2P@APC, which is attributed to the modified electronic structure of FeP due to its greater P proportion than Fe2P together with the strong synergy between the nanoparticles and graphitic carbon. In detail, FeP@GPC exhibits an ultralow overpotential of 72 mV and 278 mV to achieve the current density of 10 mA cm−2 for the HER in acid and OER in alkaline media, respectively, together with negligible degradation after 20 h, which ranks among the best Fe-based electrocatalysts.

Graphical abstract: Iron phosphide encapsulated in P-doped graphitic carbon as efficient and stable electrocatalyst for hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Aug 2018, accepted on 30 Oct 2018 and first published on 31 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR06752J
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    Iron phosphide encapsulated in P-doped graphitic carbon as efficient and stable electrocatalyst for hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions

    Y. Yao, N. Mahmood, L. Pan, G. Shen, R. Zhang, R. Gao, F. Aleem, X. Yuan, X. Zhang and J. Zou, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR06752J

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