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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

305 Citations (Scopus)


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
Pages (from-to)4826-4831
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry

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