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Hierarchical FeP nanoarray films composed of FeP nanopetals were successfully synthesized via a bio-inspired hydrothermal route followed by phosphorization. Glycerol, as a crystal growth modifier, plays a significant role in controlling the morphology and structure of the FeO(OH) precursor during the biomineralization process, while the following transfer and pseudomorphic transformation of the FeO(OH) film successfully give rise to the FeP array film. The as-prepared FeP film electrodes exhibit excellent hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) performance over a wide pH range. Theoretical calculations reveal that the mixed P/Fe termination in the FeP film is responsible for the high catalytic activity of the nanostructured electrodes. This new insight will promote further explorations of efficient metal phosphoride-based catalysts for the HER. More importantly, this study bridges the gap between biological and inorganic self-assembling nanosystems and may open up a new avenue for the preparation of functional nanostructures with application in energy devices.

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Publication history

Received: 20 September 2017
Revised: 06 November 2017
Accepted: 11 November 2017
Published: 02 August 2018
Issue date: July 2018

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

This project is funded by the Program for Associate Professor of Special Appointment (Young Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning (No. QD2016013), the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (No. 16ZR1423500) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51702213). We also acknowledge financial support by the National 1000 Young Talents Program of China, the Innovation Foundation of Shenzhen Government (No. JCYJ20160408173202143), the Joint Fund of Energy Storage of Qingdao (No. 20160012), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2017KFXKJC002) and the Innovation Research Funds of HUST (No. 2017KFYXJJ164). The Program Sponsored by Shanghai Pujiang (No. 17PJ1406900) is also acknowledged. We also acknowledge the support of the Analytical and Testing Center of Huazhong University of Science and Technology for XRD, TEM, and XPS measurements.

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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