Professor ZENG Jie’s group at University of Science and Technology of China of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) created a novel catalyst for water electrolysis hydrogen production. Through regulating interfaces, they devised a kind of Molybdenmun disulfide-black phosphorus (MoS2-BP) hybrid nanosheets catalyst, which shows high activity and high stability during hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). The results were published in Nano Letters.
Hydrogen serves as a future energy resource to reduce the dependence on petroleum by virtue of the highest mass energy density and renewability. One of the most convenient and promising approaches to hydrogen generation is Electrochemical water splitting.
The current commercial electrocatalysts toward HER are typically composed of noble metals, especially Pt and Pd. Their scarcity and high cost have hampered the large-scale deployment of HER technologies.
To solve these problems, researchers used the interface control technology to design and construct a cheap and efficient MoS2-BP hybrid nanosheet catalyst. In MoS2-BP nanosheets, effective electron transfer from BP to MoS2 was achieved because of the higher Fermi level of BP than that of MoS2.
The electron rich MoS2 part of the nanosheets served as highly active catalytic center. The as-synthesized MoS2-BP nanosheets exhibited remarkable HER activity with an overpotential of 85mV at 10 mA cm-2, close to that of commercial Pd-C catalyst.
Moreover, the catalytic activity of MoS2-BP nanosheets was retained in the current after 10,000 cycles and after 104 seconds (three hours), suggesting the potential use of the MoS2-BP catalysts over a long time in an electrochemical process.
The success of engineering electronic properties by forming MoS2-BP heterostructures presented a straightforward strategy to design hybrid electrocatalysts.
This work was supported by Key Research Program of Frontier Science of CAS, Strategic Priority Research Program B of CAS, Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, etc.
Figure: TEM image of a typical MoS2–BP nanosheet and its high performance (Image by ZENG Jie)
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