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Issue 15, 2019
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Potential-driven surface active structure rearrangement over FeP@NC towards efficient electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

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Abstract

Understanding the variation of active structure during the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) process is of great importance for aiding in the design of optimized electrocatalysts. Herein, we present a composite material of FeP nanoparticles coated by N-doped carbon (FeP@NC) as an efficient HER electrocatalyst, synthesized by a pyrolysis and equivalent-volume impregnation method. The as-prepared FeP@NC catalyst can accelerate the HER at a small overpotential of 135 mV with a current density of 10 mA cm−2 in acidic medium and also shows a robust long-term stability with a minor decay of about 10% of the initial current density after 15 h. Using in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), a potential-dependent surface rearrangement of a surface pentahedral Fe structure into an octahedral Fe moiety via surface hydroxylation is clearly observed during the HER process, resulting in a much higher electrocatalytic activity. The theoretical calculations further unveil that the rearrangement of the surface FeP5(OH) octahedral structure could effectively trigger the adjacent P atoms to act as favorable proton acceptor sites towards improving the reaction kinetics of the Volmer step for efficient electrochemical hydrogen evolution.

Graphical abstract: Potential-driven surface active structure rearrangement over FeP@NC towards efficient electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jan 2019, accepted on 18 Mar 2019 and first published on 18 Mar 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9CP00375D
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019,21, 7918-7923

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    Potential-driven surface active structure rearrangement over FeP@NC towards efficient electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

    F. Tang, H. Su, X. Zhao, H. Zhang, F. Hu, P. Yao, Q. Liu and W. Cheng, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, 21, 7918
    DOI: 10.1039/C9CP00375D

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