Interconnected Hollow Cobalt Phosphide Grown on Carbon Nanotubes for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction

Transition-metal phosphides are deemed as potential alternative to platinum for large-scale and sustainable electrocatalytic hydrogen production from water. In this study, facile preparation of interconnected hollow cobalt monophosphide (CoP) supported on carbon nanotubes is demonstrated and evaluated as a low-cost electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction. Hexamethylenetetramine is used as a structure-directing agent to guide the formation of interconnected cobalt oxide, which further grows into interconnected hollow CoP. Interconnected and hollow microstructural artifacts impart benign attributes, such as enhanced specific and electrochemically active surface area, low intrinsic charge transfer resistance, high interfacial charge transfer kinetics, and improved mass transport, to the electrocatalyst. As a result, the as-prepared electrode exhibits remarkable electrocatalytic performance, low onset (18 mV) and overpotential (η10 = 73 mV); small Tafel slope (54.6 mV dec–1); and high turnover frequency (0.58 s–1 at η = 73 mV). In addition, the electrode shows excellent electrochemical stability.