Ultra-Fine Ni2P Nanoparticles Decorated R-GO: Novel Phosphidation Approach and Dibenzothiophene Hydrodesulfurization

Nanostructured transition metal phosphides gathered last years an elevated scientific interest, due to their unique physical-chemical properties. Nickel phosphide nanoparticles, with the controllable crystal structure, from the metal rich tetragonal Ni12P5 to the phosphorous rich hexagonal Ni2P, and hcp Ni2P decorated r-GO (reduced graphene oxide), nano-hybrid materials have been synthesized via a novel one step organometallic approach in primary-tertiary aliphatic amines mixture. The nanoparticles are monodispersed, with spherical shape and controllable size in the sub-10 nm regime and decorate uniformly the surface of the r-GO, leading to the formation of Ni2P/r-GO hybrid materials. The materials were characterized by powder XRD, TEM and Raman spectroscopy and catalytically evaluated for the dibenzothiophene hydrodesulphurization (HDS) reaction. The results show that the role of the tertiary amine is crucial for the phosphidation process and the r-GO is an ideal alternative, to the traditional inorganic ones, support for the immobilization of the catalytically active component, preventing significantly sintering effects.