ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2019 May 26;11(18):16461-16473. Epub 2019 Apr 26.
Department of Energy Engineering and School of Energy and Chemical Engineering , Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) , Ulsan 689-798 , South Korea.
Noble metal-based catalysts are currently the most advanced electrocatalysts for many applications, such as for energy conversion and for chemical industry. Because of the high cost and scarcity of noble metals, reducing the usage is a practical way to achieve scalable applications. Herein, for the first time, three novel electrocatalysts composed of noble metal phosphide (IrP, PdP, or PtP) nanoparticles with N,P-codoped nanocarbon were synthesized by the pyrolysis of mixtures of IrCl, PdCl, or PtCl with phytic acid under an ammonia atmosphere. With an ultralow loading of Pd (1.5 μg), Pt (1.4 μg), or Ir (1.6 μg) on the electrode, the PdP/NPC, PtP/NPC, and IrP/NPC catalysts, respectively, exhibited excellent trifunctional catalytic activities for the oxygen reduction reaction, hydrogen evolution reaction, and oxygen evolution reaction. Notably, the IrP/NPC-, PdP/NPC-, and PtP/NPC-based water-splitting cells required only 1.62, 1.65, and 1.68 V, respectively, to deliver the current density of 10 mA cm. Furthermore, the IrP/NPC-, PdP/NPC-, and PtP/NPC-based zinc-air batteries exhibited higher specific capacities than that of Pt/C. IrP/NPC exhibited a comparable performance to that of Pt/C-IrO for use in rechargeable zinc-air batteries.