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A Superior Catalyst for Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution


Recentlythe research group of Prof. Jie Zeng has made a breakthrough in the development of electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Researchers designed molybdenum disulfide−black phosphorus (MoS2-BP) hybrid nanosheets as an active and stable catalyst for HER through engineering the interface. This work was published on Nano Letters (Nano Lett. 2017, 17, 4311-4316) entitled as “Molybdenum disulfide-black phosphorus hybrid nanosheets as a superior catalyst for electrochemical hydrogen evolution”. Graduate students, Rong He and Jian Hua, were the co-first authors of this work.

Hydrogen serves as a future energy resource to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels by virtue of the highest mass energy density and renewability. Electrochemical water splitting represents one of the most convenient and promising approaches to hydrogen generation. Currently, commercial electrocatalysts toward hydrogen evolution reactions (HER) are typically composed of noble metals, especially platinum. However, the scarcity and high cost of noble-metal catalysts have hampered the large-scale deployment of HER technologies. As such, increasing attention has been paid to applying nonprecious catalysts for HER.

Herein, researchers deposited MoS2 flakes on BP nanosheets to modify their electronic properties for HER. Due to the electron transfer in the interface of MoS2 and BP, the accumulated electrons made MoS2 counterpart as a highly active center for HER. The as-synthesized MoS2-BP nanosheets exhibited remarkable HER performance with an overpotential as low as 85 mV (at 10 mA cm−2). In addition, both the consecutive cyclic voltammetry and potentiostatic tests revealed the outstanding electrocatalytic stability of MoS2-BP nanosheets.

This work was supported by CAS, MOST of China, and National Natural Science Foundation of China.