Heliyon. 2023 Aug 19;9(9):e19313. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e19313. eCollection 2023 Sep.
Hydrogen (H2) production through water splitting has less viable applications due to the unfavourable kinetics of the reaction. Electrocatalysts with a robust structure, high levels of catalytic activity, and a high degree of stability are in high demand but challenging. This paper reports the synthesis of highly porous interconnected molybdenum phosphide (MoP) assembled with graphene oxide (GO) to form MoP/RGO hybrid electrocatalysts in a novel phosphorization process at a reasonably low temperature under an argon (Ar) atmosphere by a mixing and heat-treating method for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Bifunctional MoP anchored on reduced graphene oxide (MoP/RGO) porous structures exhibited extra permeability for ion and electrolyte transport. An efficient MoP/RGO-based electrocatalyst exhibited brilliant electrocatalytic performance, having HER overpotential of 96 mV at a current density of 10 mA/cm2 with a low Tafel slope of 64 mV/dec in an alkaline solution. The effectiveness of an optimised electrocatalyst indicates significant HER activity for all intermediate chemical reactions. A highly efficient electrocatalyst also exhibited long-term stability with a minor potential decrease over 24 h. RGO shows great potential as a material possessing remarkable strength in the context of high temperature phosphorization. It effectively hinders particle agglomeration, enhances catalyst conductivity, and ultimately betters both the performance and durability of an electrocatalyst in HER applications.