Transition metal phosphides recently have been identified as promising Earth-abundant electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Here, we present a general and scalable strategy for the synthesis of transition metal phosphide electrodes based on the reaction of commercially available metal foils (Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and NiFe) with various organophosphine reagents. The resulting phosphide electrodes were found to exhibit excellent electrocatalytic HER and OER performance. The most active electrodes required overpotentials of only -128 mV for the HER in acid (Ni2P), -183 mV for the HER in base (Ni2P), and 277 mV for the OER in base (NiFeP) to produce operationally relevant current densities of 10 mA cm-2. Such HER and OER performance compares favorably with samples prepared using significantly more elaborate and costly procedures. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the approach can also be utilized to obtain highly active and conformal metal phosphide coatings on photocathode materials, such as highly doped Si, that are relevant to solar fuels production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)