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

Converting surface-oxidized cobalt phosphides into Co(PO)-CoP heterostructures for efficient electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution., Mo, Qijie, He Liuqing, Zeng Jiachang, and Gao Qingsheng , Nanotechnology, 2019 Sep 27, Volume 30, Issue 39, p.394001, (2019)

Construction of carbon-coated nickel phosphide nanoparticle assembled submicrospheres with enhanced electrochemical properties for lithium/sodium-ion batteries., Wang, Jiamei, Wang Beibei, Liu Xiaojie, Wang Gang, Wang Hui, and Bai Jintao , J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 Mar 07, Volume 538, p.187-198, (2019)

Unveiling the active sites of Ni-Fe phosphide/metaphosphate for efficient oxygen evolution under alkaline conditions., Huang, Can, Zou Ying, Ye Ya-Qian, Ouyang Ting, Xiao Kang, and Liu Zhao-Qing , Chem Commun (Camb), 2019 Jun 17, (2019)

Porous-Organic-Polymer Driven Evolution of High-Performance Cobalt Phosphide Hybrid Nanosheets as Vanillin Hydrodeoxygenation Catalyst., Shit, Subhash Chandra, Koley Paramita, Joseph Boby, Marini Carlo, Nakka Lingaiah, Tardio James, and Mondal John , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2019 Jun 14, (2019)

Cobalt iron phosphide nanoparticles embedded within a carbon matrix as highly efficient electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction., Han, Jiang, Chen Gen, Liu Xiaohe, Zhang Ning, Liang Shuquan, Ma Renzhi, and Qiu Guanzhou , Chem Commun (Camb), 2019 Jul 16, (2019)

Development of upconversion nanoparticle-conjugated indium phosphide quantum dot for matrix metalloproteinase-2 cancer transformation sensing., Chan, Ming-Hsien, Lai Chen-Yu, Chan Yung-Chieh, Hsiao Michael, Chung Ren-Jei, Chen Xueyuan, and Liu Ru-Shi , Nanomedicine (Lond), 2019 Jul 15, (2019)

The deposition of cadmium selenide and cadmium phosphide thin films from cadmium thioselenoimidodiphosphinate by AACVD and the formation of an aromatic species., Oyetunde, Temidayo, Afzaal Mohammad, Vincent Mark A., and O'Brien Paul , Dalton Trans, 2019 Jan 22, Volume 48, Issue 4, p.1436-1442, (2019)

Bi-Metal Phosphide NiCoP: An Enhanced Catalyst for the Reduction of 4-Nitrophenol., Sun, Lijie, Xiang Xia, Wu Juwei, Cai Chao, Ao Dongyi, Luo Jinling, Tian Chengxiang, and Zu Xiaotao , Nanomaterials (Basel), 2019 Jan 18, Volume 9, Issue 1, (2019)

Acyl-Phosphide Anions via an Intermediate with Carbene Character: Reactions of K[PtBu2] and CO., Xu, Maotong, Jupp Andrew R., and Stephan Douglas W. , Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 2019 Jan 16, (2019)

Efficacy and nontarget impact of zinc phosphide-coated cabbage as a ground squirrel management tool., Baldwin, Roger A., Halbritter Heather, Meinerz Ryan, Snell Laura K., and Orloff Steve B. , Pest Manag Sci, 2019 Jan 10, (2019)

High-Performance Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation with Phosphorus-Doped and Metal Phosphide Cocatalyst-Modified g-C N Formation Through Gas Treatment., Qin, Dong-Dong, Quan Jing-Jing, Duan Shi-Fang, San Martin Jovan, Lin Yixiong, Zhu Xiaolin, Yao Xiao-Qiang, Su Jin-Zhan, Rodríguez-Gutiérrez Ingrid, Tao Chun-Lan, et al. , ChemSusChem, 2019 Jan 02, (2019)

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)

3D hollow nanoflowers assembled by ultrathin molybdenum-nickel phosphide nanosheets as robust electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution reaction., Chen, Sheyun, Dai Jingtao, Ren Fangfang, Xu Hui, and Du Yukou , J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 Feb 15, Volume 536, p.71-79, (2019)

Highly Efficient Hydrogen Evolution from a Mesoporous Hybrid of Nickel Phosphide Nanoparticles Anchored on Cobalt Phosphosulfide/Phosphide Nanosheet Arrays., Sun, Jingying, Ren Muqing, Yu Luo, Yang Ze, Xie Lixin, Tian Fei, Yu Ying, Ren Zhifeng, Chen Shuo, and Zhou Haiqing , Small, 2019 Feb, Volume 15, Issue 6, p.e1804272, (2019)

Transition metal trifluoroacetates (M = Fe, Co, Mn) as precursors for uniform colloidal metal difluoride and phosphide nanoparticles., Guntlin, Christoph P., Kravchyk Kostiantyn V., Erni Rolf, and Kovalenko Maksym V. , Sci Rep, 2019 Apr 29, Volume 9, Issue 1, p.6613, (2019)