Amorphous molybdenum phosphide nanoparticles for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

Joshua M. McEnaney, J. Chance Crompton, Juan F. Callejas, Eric J. Popczun, Adam J. Biacchi, Nathan S. Lewis, Raymond E. Schaak

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Amorphous molybdenum phosphide (MoP) nanoparticles have been synthesized and characterized as electrocatalysts for the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) in 0.50 M H2SO4 (pH 0.3). Amorphous MoP nanoparticles (having diameters of 4.2 ± 0.5 nm) formed upon heating Mo(CO)6 and trioctylphosphine in squalane at 320 °C, and the nanoparticles remained amorphous after heating at 450 °C in H2(5%)/Ar(95%) to remove the surface ligands. At mass loadings of 1 mg cm-2, MoP/Ti electrodes exhibited overpotentials of -90 and -105 mV (-110 and -140 mV without iR correction) at current densities of -10 and -20 mA cm-2, respectively. These HER overpotentials remained nearly constant over 500 cyclic voltammetric sweeps and 18 h of galvanostatic testing, indicating stability in acidic media under operating conditions. Amorphous MoP nanoparticles are therefore among the most active known molybdenum-based HER systems and are part of a growing family of active, acid-stable, non-noble-metal HER catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4826-4831
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 26 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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