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Issue 24, 2018
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Colloidal Ni2−xCoxP nanocrystals for the hydrogen evolution reaction

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A cost-effective and scalable approach was developed to produce monodisperse Ni2−xCoxP nanocrystals (NCs) with composition tuned over the entire range (0 ≤ x ≤ 2). Ni2−xCoxP NCs were synthesized using low-cost, stable and low-toxicity triphenyl phosphite (TPP) as a phosphorus source, metal chlorides as metal precursors and hexadecylamine (HDA) as a ligand. The synthesis involved the nucleation of amorphous Ni–P and its posterior crystallization and simultaneous incorporation of Co. The composition, size and morphology of the Ni2−xCoxP NCs could be controlled simply by varying the ratio of Ni and Co precursors and the amounts of TPP and HDA. Ternary Ni2−xCoxP-based electrocatalysts exhibited enhanced electrocatalytic activity toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) compared to binary phosphides. In particular, NiCoP electrocatalysts displayed the lowest overpotential of 97 mV at J = 10 mA cm−2 and an excellent long-term stability. DFT calculations of the Gibbs free energy for hydrogen adsorption at the surface of Ni2−xCoxP NCs showed NiCoP to have the most appropriate composition to optimize this parameter within the whole Ni2−xCoxP series. However, the hydrogen adsorption energy was demonstrated not to be the only parameter controlling the HER activity in Ni2−xCoxP.

Graphical abstract: Colloidal Ni2−xCoxP nanocrystals for the hydrogen evolution reaction

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Supplementary files

Article information

16 Apr 2018
11 May 2018
First published
11 May 2018

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018,6, 11453-11462
Article type

Colloidal Ni2−xCoxP nanocrystals for the hydrogen evolution reaction

J. Liu, Z. Wang, J. David, J. Llorca, J. Li, X. Yu, A. Shavel, J. Arbiol, M. Meyns and A. Cabot, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 11453
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA03485K

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