Self-templated fabrication of hierarchical hollow manganese-cobalt phosphide yolk-shell spheres for enhanced oxygen evolution reaction

Yusuf Valentino Kaneti*, Yanna Guo, Ni Luh Wulan Septiani, Muhammad Iqbal, Xuchuan Jiang, Toshiaki Takei, Brian Yuliarto, Zeid A. Alothman, Dmitri Golberg, Yusuke Yamauchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Hierarchical nanostructures with hollow architectures can provide rich active sites, improved transport of ions, and highly robust structure for electrochemical applications. In this work, we report the self-templated fabrication of hierarchical manganese-cobalt phosphide (Mn-Co phosphide) yolk-shell spheres using highly uniform cobalt glycerate spheres as sacrificial templates. Through a simple exchange reaction with the manganese precursor solution at room temperature, these cobalt glycerate spheres are readily converted to hierarchical Mn-Co LDH yolk-shell spheres, which can be further phosphidized at 350 °C under inert atmosphere to generate hierarchical Mn-Co phosphide with distinct yolk-shell morphology. When tested as an electrocatalyst for oxygen evolution reaction (OER), the hierarchical Mn-Co phosphide yolk-shell spheres exhibit an overpotential of 330 mV at a current density of 10 mA cm−2 and a Tafel slope of 59.0 mV dec-1, which are higher than those of Mn-Co oxide yolk-shell spheres (480 mV and 113 mV dec-1) and hierarchical cobalt phosphide spheres (410 mV and 61.3 mV dec-1). Post-OER analysis by XPS reveals that the high activity of the hierarchical Mn-Co phosphide yolk-shell catalyst originates from the existence of Mn4+/Mn3+ and Co2+/Co3+ redox couples and the formation of active metal oxyhydroxide species on its surface. The proposed self-sacrificial templating strategy will provide useful guidance for future construction of hollow inorganic metal nanostructures with yolk-shell morphology for energy storage and conversion applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126580
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrocatalysis
  • Energy conversion
  • Hierarchical nanosheets
  • Metal oxides
  • Metal phosphides
  • Oxygen evolution reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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