About Phosphides

solid oxide fuel cell cathode and electrolyte cross section by SEM

Phosphides are compounds of phosphorus with one or more less electronegative elements. Most elements less-electronegative than phosphorus form at least one binary phosphide, and most form a number of binary phosphides with different stoichiometries. Notably, potassium is capable of forming nine different binary phosphides: K3P, K4P3, K5P4, KP, K4P6, K3P7, K3P11, KP10.3, KP15. Phosphides may be principally ionic compounds with P3- ions, ionic compounds with polymeric phosphorus ions such as P24- or P113-, or compounds with individual phosphorus atoms incorporated into a metal lattice which may exhibit metal-like or semiconductor-like properties.

Although there are a number of ways to prepare phosphides, the most general method is to heat stoichiometric amounts of the metal and red phosphorus to high temperature in an inert atmosphere or a vacuum. Alkali and alkaline earth metals transition-metal phosphides are inert metallic-looking solids with high melting points and electrical conductivities.

Some metal phosphides have been used as rodenticides, primarily calcium phosphide, zinc phosphide, and aluminum phosphide. Zinc phosphide baits have strong, pungent garlic-like odor characteristic for phosphine liberated by hydrolysis. The odor attracts rodents, but has a repulsive effect on other animals. Aluminum phosphide is also wide band gap semiconductor. Calcium phosphide has uses in incendiary bombs. On contact with acids or water, calcium phosphide releases phosphine, which ignites spontaneously. Calcium phosphide is also used in fireworks, torpedoes, self-igniting naval pyrotechnic flares, and various water-activated ammunition.

Gallium phosphide is an important semiconducting phosphide used in the manufacture of low-cost red, orange, and green light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with low to medium brightness since the 1960s. It has a relatively short life at higher current and its lifetime is sensitive to temperature. Pure gallium phosphide LEDs emit green light at a wavelength of 555 nm. Nitrogen-doped gallium phosphide emits yellow-green (565 nm) light, zinc oxide doped gallium phosphide emits red (700 nm). Indium phosphide is a semiconductor and is used in high-power and high-frequency electronics because of its superior electron velocity with respect to the more common semiconductors such as gallium arsenide. Indium phosphide also has one of the longest-lived optical phonons of any compound with the zincblende crystal structure.

Sodium phosphide is a source of the highly reactive phosphide anion, and is often employed commercially in conjunction with zinc phosphide and aluminum phosphide as a catalyst in polymer production. Sodium phosphide is highly dangerous, releasing toxic phosphine upon hydrolysis, a process that is so exothermic that it may result in fires.

Recent Research & Development for Phosphides

Various strategies to tune the electrocatalytic performance of molybdenum phosphide supported on reduced graphene oxide for hydrogen evolution reaction., Wu, Zexing, Song Min, Zhang Zijin, Wang Jie, and Liu Xien , J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 Feb 15, Volume 536, p.638-645, (2019)

Micro-Raman Spectroscopy in Self-Catalyzed Indium Phosphide Nanostructures: Morphology and Substrate Effects., Park, Jeung Hun, Kim Richard S., Pozuelo Marta, and Chung Choong-Heui , J Nanosci Nanotechnol, 2019 Apr 01, Volume 19, Issue 4, p.2285-2290, (2019)

Palladium Phosphide as a Stable and Efficient Electrocatalyst for Overall Water Splitting., Luo, Fang, Zhang Quan, Yu Xinxin, Xiao Shenglin, Ling Ying, Hu Hao, Guo Long, Yang Zehui, Huang Liang, Cai Weiwei, et al. , Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 2018 Sep 21, (2018)

High Curie temperature and half-metallicity in an atomically thin main group-based boron phosphide system: long range ferromagnetism., Bhattacharyya, Gargee, Choudhuri Indrani, and Pathak Biswarup , Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2018 Sep 12, Volume 20, Issue 35, p.22877-22889, (2018)

Strained Nickel Phosphide Nanosheet Array., Duan, Jingjing, Chen Sheng, and Zhao Chuan , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2018 Sep 12, Volume 10, Issue 36, p.30029-30034, (2018)

A Janus Nickel Cobalt Phosphide Catalyst for High-efficiency Neutral-pH Water Splitting., Yu, Shu-Hong, Wu Rui, Xiao Bing, Gao Qiang, Zheng Yarong, Zheng Xusheng, Zhu Junfa, and Gao Min-Rui , Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 2018 Oct 03, (2018)

Electronic structure and optical properties of novel monolayer gallium nitride and boron phosphide heterobilayers., Mogulkoc, A, Mogulkoc Y, Modarresi M, and Alkan B , Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2018 Nov 02, (2018)

Laser ablation synthesis of arsenic-phosphide As P clusters from As-P mixtures. Laser desorption ionisation with quadrupole ion trap time-of-flight mass spectrometry: The mass spectrometer as a synthesizer., Kubáček, Pavel, Prokeš Lubomír, Pamreddy Annapurna, Peña-Méndez Eladia María, Conde José Elias, Alberti Milan, and Havel Josef , Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom, 2018 May 30, Volume 32, Issue 10, p.789-800, (2018)

Novel tungsten phosphide embedded nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes: A portable and renewable monitoring platform for anticancer drug in whole blood., Zhou, Haifeng, Ran Guoxia, Masson Jean-Francois, Wang Chan, Zhao Yuan, and Song Qijun , Biosens Bioelectron, 2018 May 15, Volume 105, p.226-235, (2018)

Chiral Magnesium Bisphosphate-Catalyzed Asymmetric Double C(sp)-H Bond Functionalization Based on Sequential Hydride Shift/Cyclization Process., Mori, Keiji, Isogai Ryo, Kamei Yuto, Yamanaka Masahiro, and Akiyama Takahiko , J Am Chem Soc, 2018 May 11, (2018)

Toward High-Performance and Low-Cost Hydrogen Evolution Reaction Electrocatalysts: Nanostructuring Cobalt Phosphide (CoP) Particles on Carbon Fiber Paper., Yu, Shu Hearn, and Chua Daniel H. C. , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2018 May 02, Volume 10, Issue 17, p.14777-14785, (2018)

Atomistic investigations on the mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms of indium phosphide nanowires., Pial, Turash Haque, Rakib Tawfiqur, Mojumder Satyajit, Motalab Mohammad, and Akanda M A. Salam , Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2018 Mar 28, Volume 20, Issue 13, p.8647-8657, (2018)

Controllable Carrier Type in Boron Phosphide Nanowires Toward Homostructural Optoelectronic Devices., Ding, Nan, Xu Junqi, Zhang Qi, Su Jianwei, Gao Yu, Zhou Xing, and Zhai Tianyou , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2018 Mar 28, Volume 10, Issue 12, p.10296-10303, (2018)

Nanohybrid of Carbon Quantum Dots/Molybdenum Phosphide Nanoparticle for Efficient Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution in Alkaline Medium., Zhang, Linjie, Yang Yanmei, Ziaee Muhammad Asad, Lu Kanglong, and Wang Ruihu , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2018 Mar 09, (2018)