Get access

Highly Active Electrocatalysis of the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction by Cobalt Phosphide Nanoparticles

Authors

  • Eric J. Popczun,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (USA)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Carlos G. Read,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (USA)
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Christopher W. Roske,

    1. Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (USA)
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Prof. Nathan S. Lewis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (USA)
    • Nathan S. Lewis, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (USA)===

      Raymond E. Schaak, Department of Chemistry and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (USA)===

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Prof. Raymond E. Schaak

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (USA)
    • Nathan S. Lewis, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (USA)===

      Raymond E. Schaak, Department of Chemistry and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (USA)===

    Search for more papers by this author

  • This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Chemical Innovation on Solar Fuels (CHE-1305124). C.W.R. thanks the NSF for a graduate research fellowship. Research was in part performed at the Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Research Center. TEM and BET data were acquired using facilities in the Materials Characterization Lab of the Penn State Materials Research Institute. E.J.P. and C.G.R. thank Trevor Clark, Ke Wang, and Lymaris Ortiz Rivera for assistance.

Abstract

Nanoparticles of cobalt phosphide, CoP, have been prepared and evaluated as electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) under strongly acidic conditions (0.50 M H2SO4, pH 0.3). Uniform, multi-faceted CoP nanoparticles were synthesized by reacting Co nanoparticles with trioctylphosphine. Electrodes comprised of CoP nanoparticles on a Ti support (2 mg cm−2 mass loading) produced a cathodic current density of 20 mA cm−2 at an overpotential of −85 mV. The CoP/Ti electrodes were stable over 24 h of sustained hydrogen production in 0.50 M H2SO4. The activity was essentially unchanged after 400 cyclic voltammetric sweeps, suggesting long-term viability under operating conditions. CoP is therefore amongst the most active, acid-stable, earth-abundant HER electrocatalysts reported to date.

Ancillary