We describe a facile and simple solid-state thermolysis route for the preparation of Co, Ni, and Fe phosphide nanoparticles embedded in amorphous carbon using an organometallic complex. This was achieved by using a suitable organometallic complex in a single step synthetic route without using any solvent or catalyst. The advantage of using such precursor was to offer a source for metal, phosphorus and carbon without using any additional sources. The morphology of products was characterized by transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and nature of carbon was analyzed using the Raman microscope and X-ray diffraction. The electrocatalytic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity and stability of the metal phosphide nanostructure was evaluated using the rotating disk electrode technique. The CoP, NiP and FeP exhibit the OER overpotential of 370, 380 and 550 mV at 10 mA cm−2, respectively in 0.1 M KOH electrolyte. Among prepared phosphide catalysts, cobalt phosphide shows a lowest Tafel slope indicate favorable kinetics for the OER activity than nickel and iron phosphide catalysts.
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