Phase-Controllable Cobalt Phosphides Induced through Hydrogel for Higher Lithium Storages
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© 2020 American Chemical Society.
Transition metal phosphides (TMPs) have gained increased attention in energy storage due to their potential applications for optimizing electrochemical performances. However, their preparation routes usually require highly toxic and flammable phosphorus sources with strict reaction conditions. The existence of multiple energetically favorable stoichiometries also makes it a challenge to achieve phase control of metal phosphides. In this work, we have successfully realized the phase-controllable framework of cobalt phosphide from Co2P to CoP by employing a semi-interpenetrating network (semi-IPN) hydrogel as a precursor. Interestingly, the semi-IPN hydrogel could serve as a self-assembly/sacrificing template to accomplish 3D space confinement, where poly(vinylphosphonic acid) (PVPA) was identified as a prominent phosphorus source due to its strong metal complexation ability and high thermal stability. Furthermore, this route is successfully extended to the synthesis of other TMPs, including Fe2P, Ni2P, and Cu3P. The specific structure of cobalt phosphides gives rise to superior lithium storage performance, showing superior cycling stability (495.2 mAh g-1 after 1000 cycles at 2.0 A g-1). This approach envisions a new outlook on exploitation of essential functional hydrogels for the creation of inorganic materials toward sustainable energy development.
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