Bifunctional earth-abundant phosphate/phosphide catalysts prepared via atomic layer deposition for electrocatalytic water splitting†
The development of active and stable earth-abundant catalysts for hydrogen and oxygen evolution is one of the requirements for successful production of solar fuels. Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a proven technique for conformal coating of structured (photo)electrode surfaces with such electrocatalyst materials. Here, we show that ALD can be used for the deposition of iron and cobalt phosphate electrocatalysts. A PE-ALD process was developed to obtain cobalt phosphate films without the need for a phosphidation step. The cobalt phosphate material acts as a bifunctional catalyst, able to also perform hydrogen evolution after either a thermal or electrochemical reduction step.