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Unusual activity of rationally designed cobalt phosphide/oxide heterostructure composite for hydrogen production in alkaline medium.

Alsabban, Merfat M.; Eswaran, Mathan Kumar; Peramaiah, Karthik; Wahyudi, Wandi; Yang, Xiulin; Ramalingam, Vinoth; Hedhili, Mohamed N.; Miao, Xiaohe; Schwingenschlögl, Udo; Li, Lain-Jong; Tung, Vincent; Huang, Kuo-Wei


Merfat M. Alsabban

Mathan Kumar Eswaran

Karthik Peramaiah

Wandi Wahyudi

Xiulin Yang

Mohamed N. Hedhili

Xiaohe Miao

Udo Schwingenschlögl

Lain-Jong Li

Vincent Tung

Kuo-Wei Huang


Design and development of an efficient, nonprecious catalyst with structural features and functionality necessary for driving the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in an alkaline medium remain a formidable challenge. At the root of the functional limitation is the inability to tune the active catalytic sites while overcoming the poor reaction kinetics observed under basic conditions. Herein, we report a facile approach to enable the selective design of an electrochemically efficient cobalt phosphide oxide composite catalyst on carbon cloth (CoP-CoxOy/CC), with good activity and durability toward HER in alkaline medium (η10= -43 mV). Theoretical studies revealed that the redistribution of electrons at laterally dispersed Co phosphide/oxide interfaces gives rise to a synergistic effect in the heterostructured composite, by which various Co oxide phases initiate the dissociation of the alkaline water molecule. Meanwhile, the highly active CoP further facilitates the adsorption-desorption process of water electrolysis, leading to extremely high HER activity.


ALSABBAN, M.M., ESWARAN, M.K., PERAMAIAH, K., WAHYUDI, W., YANG, X., RAMALINGAM, V., HEDHILI, M.N., MIAO, X., SCHWINGENSCHLÖGL, U., LI, L.-J., TUNG, V. and HUANG, K.-W. 2022. Unusual activity of rationally designed cobalt phosphide/oxide heterostructure composite for hydrogen production in alkaline medium. ACS nano [online], 16(3), pages 3906-3916. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 25, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 7, 2022
Publication Date Mar 22, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2023
Publicly Available Date Oct 31, 2023
Journal ACS nano
Print ISSN 1936-0851
Electronic ISSN 1936-086X
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 3
Pages 3906-3916
Keywords Cobalt phosphide; Cobalt mixed oxides; Electrochemical catalyst; Hydrogen evolution reaction (HER); Phosphatization
Public URL
Additional Information This article has been published with separate supporting information. This supporting information has been incorporated into a single file on this repository and can be found at the end of the file associated with this output.


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