Nickel nitride is a material that is used as a coating or as a plating. It is also used for a variety of energy-related applications. In addition, nickel nitride is used as an electrocatalyst. Specifically, nickel nitride has been shown to exhibit good stability for hydrogen evolution and reduction reactions. Therefore, it opens a lot of possibilities for energy-related devices. Moreover, this type of nitride is also considered as an eco-friendly electrocatalyst.
Nitrogen vacancies in nickel nitride can enhance its HER activity. Consequently, it can be utilized for eco-friendly hydrogen production. Furthermore, this kind of nitride can be synthesized from commercial Ni foams. This type of nitride can also be used as a self-supported HER electrocatalyst. However, there are still some challenges related to the synthesis of these types of nitrides.
The growth of nitrogen vacancy in nickel nitride is possible through the process of nitrogen plasma treatment. During this process, nitrogen atoms are displaced from the nickel matrix, which results in the structural convergence towards the hydroxide phase. Moreover, the presence of nitrogen vacancies can improve the adsorption-desorption behavior of intermediately adsorbed hydrogen.
Ni3N/Ni foam has been prepared by nitrogen plasma treatment. Compared to the pristine Ni foam, the Ni/Ni3N foam shows a more stable structure, high current density, and low overpotential. Moreover, it exhibits enhanced oxygen evolution and reduction reactions. XPS measurement of the foam after 500 oxidation cycles was performed to confirm the formation of Ni(OH)2 on the surface.