Nano Research

, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 4728–4734 | Cite as

MoP nanoparticles with a P-rich outermost atomic layer embedded in N-doped porous carbon nanofibers: Self-supported electrodes for efficient hydrogen generation

  • Minqiang Wang
  • Cui Ye
  • Maowen Xu
  • Shujuan BaoEmail author
Research Article


Despite being pursued for a long time, hydrogen production via water splitting is still a huge challenge mainly due to a lack of durable and efficient catalysts. Molybdenum phosphide (MoP) is theoretically capable of efficient hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysis, however, there is still room for further improvement in its performance. Herein, we propose a design for MoP with a P-rich outermost atomic layer for enhancing HER via complementary theoretical and experimental validation. The correlation of computational results suggests that the P-terminated surface of MoP plays a crucial role in determining its high-efficiency catalytic properties. We fabricated a P-rich outermost atomic layer of MoP nanoparticles by using N-doped porous carbon (MoP@NPCNFs) to capture more P on the surface of MoP and limit the growth of nanoparticles. Further, the as-prepared material can be directly employed as a self-supported electrocatalyst, and it exhibits remarkable electrocatalytic activity for HER in acidic media; it also reveals excellent long-term durability for up to 5,000 cycles with negligible loss of catalytic activity.


P-rich outermost atomic layer molybdenum phosphide density function theory self-supported electrocatalyst hydrogen evolution reaction 


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This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21773188), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Nos. XDJK2017D003 and XDJK2017B055), Program for Excellent Talents in Chongqing (No. 102060-20600218), and Program for Innovation Team Building at Institutions of Higher Education in Chongqing (No. CXTDX201601011) and Chongqing Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Technologies.

Supplementary material

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MoP nanoparticles with a P-rich outermost atomic layer embedded in N-doped porous carbon nanofibers: Self-supported electrodes for efficient hydrogen generation


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Clean Energy & Advanced Materials, Faculty of Materials and EnergySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Eco-Environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region (Ministry of Education), School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina

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