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

Glucose-insulin-potassium infusion for the treatment of acute aluminum phosphide poisoning: an open-label pilot study., Pannu, A K., Bhalla A, Gantala J, Sharma N, Kumar S, and Dhibar D P. , Clin Toxicol (Phila), 2020 Mar 04, p.1-6, (2020)

Periodically ordered mesoporous iron phosphide for highly efficient electrochemical hydrogen evolution., Zhang, Cong, Gao Zhichao, Zhao Lei, Ai Jing, Li Nan, and Li Xiaotian , J Colloid Interface Sci, 2020 Feb 18, Volume 569, p.68-75, (2020)

Metal-organic frameworks derived carbon-incorporated cobalt/dicobalt phosphide microspheres as Mott-Schottky electrocatalyst for efficient and stable hydrogen evolution reaction in wide-pH environment., Yu, Huangze, Li Junfeng, Gao Guoliang, Zhu Guang, Wang Xianghui, Lu Ting, and Pan Likun , J Colloid Interface Sci, 2020 Apr 01, Volume 565, p.513-522, (2020)

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)

Recent Trends in Synthesis and Investigation of Nickel Phosphide Compound/Hybrid-Based Electrocatalysts Towards Hydrogen Generation from Water Electrocatalysis., Khalafallah, Diab, Zhi Mingjia, and Hong Zhanglian , Top Curr Chem (Cham), 2019 Oct 11, Volume 377, Issue 6, p.29, (2019)

A porous carbon nitride modified with cobalt phosphide as an efficient visible-light harvesting nanocomposite for photoelectrochemical enzymatic sensing of glucose., Liang, Dong, Luo Junjun, Huang Yaliang, Liang Xiang, Qiu Xiaoqing, Wang Jianxiu, and Yang Minghui , Mikrochim Acta, 2019 Nov 29, Volume 186, Issue 12, p.856, (2019)

[Progress in treatment of acute aluminum phosphide poisoning]., Lu, M F., and Nie S N. , Zhonghua Lao Dong Wei Sheng Zhi Ye Bing Za Zhi, 2019 Nov 20, Volume 37, Issue 11, p.877-880, (2019)

Amorphous nickel phosphide as a noble metal-free cathode for electrochemical dechlorination., Yao, Qiufang, Zhou Xuefei, Xiao Shaoze, Chen Jiabin, Abdelhafeez Islam A., Yu Zhenjiang, Chu Huaqiang, and Zhang Yalei , Water Res, 2019 Nov 15, Volume 165, p.114930, (2019)

Carbon shell encapsulated cobalt phosphide nanoparticles embedded in carbon nanotubes supported on carbon nanofibers: A promising anode for potassium ion battery., Miao, Wenfang, Zhao Xinyan, Wang Rui, Liu Yiqun, Li Ling, Zhang Zisheng, and Zhang Wenming , J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 Nov 15, Volume 556, p.432-440, (2019)

Synthesis of Metal Phosphide Nanoparticles Supported on Porous N-Doped Carbon Derived from Spirulina for Universal-pH Hydrogen Evolution., Yang, Ming, Feng Fan, Wang Kaizhi, Li Shuwen, Huang Xiaokang, Gong Li, Ma Lei, and Li Rong , ChemSusChem, 2019 Nov 13, (2019)

Gallium indium phosphide microstructures with suppressed photoluminescence for applications in nonlinear optics., De Luca, Eleonora, Visser Dennis, Anand Srinivasan, and Swillo Marcin , Opt Lett, 2019 Nov 01, Volume 44, Issue 21, p.5117-5120, (2019)

Enhancement of the Monolayer Tungsten Disulfide Exciton Photoluminescence with a Two-Dimensional Material/Air/Gallium Phosphide In-Plane Microcavity., Mey, Oliver, Wall Franziska, Schneider Lorenz Maximilian, Günder Darius, Walla Frederik, Soltani Amin, Roskos Hartmut, Yao Ni, Qing Peng, Fang Wei, et al. , ACS Nano, 2019 May 28, Volume 13, Issue 5, p.5259-5267, (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)