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Nickel Boride (Ni2B) is a soft ferromagnetic metal. It is used in a variety of chemical reactions, including desulfurization and thioamide hydrolysis. Ni2B is also used to reduce unsaturated nitriles to primary amines.

In the present study, two techniques are used to synthesize nickel boride: the autogenous pressure method and the RF thermal plasma process. The results show that the autogenous pressure produces Ni2B in high yield. While the pressure can vary with the reaction, the optimum pressure is 2.3-3.4 MPa. This pressure is generated from decomposition of sodium borohydride. However, if the reaction generates too much boron, the gaseous phases condense and XRD peaks are not observed.

Several crystalline phases are formed by the RF thermal plasma process. Among them, F-Ni2B/Ni(OH)x and F-Ni2B/Ni(OH)x are orthogonal. XPS spectra were obtained for both compounds. Although both phases are crystalline, the shell crystallinity of F-Ni2B/Ni(OH)x affects the electrocatalytic activity of the OER catalyst.

EBSD analyses are performed on the reacted samples without noise reduction software. The images are shown in insets. They show the presence of three phases, namely, the o-Ni4B3 phase, the F-Ni2B/Ni(OH)x phase, and the epoxide phase.

To determine the relative yield of Ni2B, a series of polycrystalline samples are characterized. XRD diffraction patterns are obtained and refined using the Topas software program. Rietveld refinements reveal that Ni2B is the major phase.

Different reaction conditions generate smaller and larger Ni2B grains. Higher temperature and higher pressure also produce crystalline Ni3B. Moreover, stoichiometric amounts of starting materials lead to higher Ni3B yields.

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