skip to main content

Title: Atomically engineering activation sites onto metallic 1T-MoS2 catalysts for enhanced electrochemical hydrogen evolution
Engineering catalytic sites at the atomic level provide an opportunity to understand the catalyst’s active sites, which is vital to the development of improved catalysts. Herein, we show a reliable and tunable polyoxometalate (POM) template-based synthetic strategy to atomically engineer metal doping sites onto metallic 1T-MoS2, using Anderson-type POMs (XMo6, X = FeIII, CoIII, or NiII) as precursors. Benefiting from the synergistic effect of doping metals into 1T-MoS2 and the possible tuning effect of the Ni-O-Mo bond, the optimized Ni and O incorporated 1T-MoS2 (NiO@1T-MoS2) catalyst excels in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). With a positive onset potential of ~ 0 V and a low overpotential of -46 mV in 1.0 M KOH, its results are comparable to 20% Pt/C. First-principles calculations reveal co-doping Ni and O into 1T-MoS2 assists the processes of both water dissociation and hydrogen generation from their intermediate states. This research will expand on the ability to improve the activities of various catalysts by precisely engineering atomic activation sites to achieve significant electronic modulations and improve atomic utilization efficiencies.
; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature communications
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    1T-MoS2and single-atom modified analogues represent a highly promising class of low-cost catalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, the role of single atoms, either as active species or promoters, remains vague despite its essentiality toward more efficient HER. In this work, we report the unambiguous identification of Ni single atom as key active sites in the basal plane of 1T-MoS2(Ni@1T-MoS2) that result in efficient HER performance. The intermediate structure of this Ni active site under catalytic conditions was captured by in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy, where a reversible metallic Ni species (Ni0) is observed in alkaline conditions whereas Nimore »remains in its local structure under acidic conditions. These insights provide crucial mechanistic understanding of Ni@1T-MoS2HER electrocatalysts and suggest that the understanding gained from such in situ studies is necessary toward the development of highly efficient single-atom decorated 1T-MoS2electrocatalysts.

    « less
  2. Platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with atomically dispersed FeN 4 sites have emerged as a potential replacement for low-PGM catalysts in acidic polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). In this work, we carefully tuned the doped Fe content in zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF)-8 precursors and achieved complete atomic dispersion of FeN 4 sites, the sole Fe species in the catalyst based on Mößbauer spectroscopy data. The Fe–N–C catalyst with the highest density of active sites achieved respectable ORR activity in rotating disk electrode (RDE) testing with a half-wave potential ( E 1/2 ) of 0.88more »± 0.01 V vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) in 0.5 M H 2 SO 4 electrolyte. The activity degradation was found to be more significant when holding the potential at 0.85 V relative to standard potential cycling (0.6–1.0 V) in O 2 saturated acid electrolyte. The post-mortem electron microscopy analysis provides insights into possible catalyst degradation mechanisms associated with Fe–N coordination cleavage and carbon corrosion. High ORR activity was confirmed in fuel cell testing, which also divulged the promising performance of the catalysts at practical PEFC voltages. We conclude that the key factor behind the high ORR activity of the Fe–N–C catalyst is the optimum Fe content in the ZIF-8 precursor. While too little Fe in the precursors results in an insufficient density of FeN 4 sites, too much Fe leads to the formation of clusters and an ensuing significant loss in catalytic activity due to the loss of atomically dispersed Fe to inactive clusters or even nanoparticles. Advanced electron microscopy was used to obtain insights into the clustering of Fe atoms as a function of the doped Fe content. The Fe content in the precursor also affects other key catalyst properties such as the particle size, porosity, nitrogen-doping level, and carbon microstructure. Thanks to using model catalysts exclusively containing FeN 4 sites, it was possible to directly correlate the ORR activity with the density of FeN 4 species in the catalyst.« less
  3. Recently, the fabricated MoS2 field effect transistors (FETs) with 1T-MoS2 electrodes exhibit excellent performance with rather low contact resistance, as compared with those with metals deposited directly on 2H-MoS2 (Kappera et al 2014 Nat. Mater. 13 1128), but the reason for that remains elusive. By means of density functional theory calculations, we investigated the carrier injection at the 1T/2H MoS2 interface and found that although the Schottky barrier height (SBH) values of 1T/2H MoS2 interfaces can be tuned by controlling the stacking patterns, the p-type SBH values of 1T/2H MoS2 interfaces with different stackings are lower than their corresponding n-typemore »SBH values, which demonstrated that the metallic 1T phase can be used as an efficient hole injection layer for 2H-MoS2. In addition, as compared to the n-type Au/MoS2 and Pd/MoS2 contacts, the p-type SBH values of 1T/2H MoS2 interfaces are much lower, which stem from the efficient hole injection between 1T-MoS2 and 2H-MoS2. This can explain the low contact resistance in the MoS2 FETs with 1T-MoS2 electrodes. Notably, the SBH values can be effectively modulated by an external electric field, and a significantly low p-type SBH value can be achieved under an appropriate electric field. We also demonstrated that this approach is also valid for WS2, WSe2 and MoSe2 systems, which indicates that the method can most likely be extended to other TMDs, and thus may open new promising avenues of contact engineering in these materials.« less
  4. To ascertain the influence of binary ligand systems [1,1-dicyanoethylene-2,2-dithiolate (i-mnt −2 ) and polyamine {tetraen = tris(2-aminoethyl)amine, tren = diethylene triamine and opda = o -phenylenediamine}] on the coordination modes of the Ni( ii ) metal center and resulting supramolecular architectures, a series of nickel( ii ) thiolate complexes [Ni(tetraen)(i-mnt)](DMSO) ( 1 ), [Ni 2 (tren) 2 (i-mnt) 2 ] ( 2 ), and [Ni 2 (i-mnt) 2 (opda) 2 ] n ( 3 ) have been synthesized in high yield in one step in water and structurally characterized by single crystal X-ray crystallography and spectroscopic techniques. X-ray diffraction studiesmore »disclose the diverse i-mnt −2 coordination to the Ni +2 center in the presence of active polyamine ligands, forming a slightly distorted octahedral geometry (NiN 4 S 2 ) in 1 , square planar (NiS 4 ) and distorted octahedral geometries (NiN 6 ) in the bimetallic co-crystallized aggregate of cationic [Ni(tren) 2 ] +2 and anionic [Ni(i-mnt) 2 ] −2 in 2 , and a one dimensional (1D) polymeric chain along the [100] axis in 3 , having consecutive square planar (NiS 4 ) and octahedral (NiN 6 ) coordination kernels. The N–H⋯O, N–H⋯S, N–H⋯N, N–H⋯S, N–H⋯N, and N–H⋯O type hydrogen bonds stabilize the supramolecular assemblies in 1 , 2 , and 3 respectively imparting interesting graph-set-motifs. The molecular Hirshfeld surface analyses (HS) and 2D fingerprint plots were utilized for decoding all types of non-covalent contacts in the crystal networks. Atomic HS analysis of the Ni +2 centers reveals significant Ni–N metal–ligand interactions compared to Ni–S interactions. We have also studied the unorthodox interactions observed in the solid state structures of 1–3 by QTAIM and NBO analyses. Moreover, all the complexes proved to be highly active water reduction co-catalysts (WRC) in a photo-catalytic hydrogen evolution process involving iridium photosensitizers, wherein 2 and 3 having a square planar arrangement around the nickel center(s) – were found to be the most active ones, achieving 1000 and 1119 turnover numbers (TON), respectively.« less
  5. Earth-abundant oxygen evolution catalysts (OECs) with extended stability in acid can be constructed by embedding active sites within an acid-stable metal-oxide framework. Here, we report stable NiPbOxfilms that are able to perform oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysis for extended periods of operation (>20 h) in acidic solutions of pH 2.5; conversely, native NiOxcatalyst films dissolve immediately. In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and ex situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveal that PbO2is unperturbed after addition of Ni and/or Fe into the lattice, which serves as an acid-stable, conductive framework for embedded OER active centers. The ability to perform OER in acid allowsmore »the mechanism of Fe doping on Ni catalysts to be further probed. Catalyst activity with Fe doping of oxidic Ni OEC under acid conditions, as compared to neutral or basic conditions, supports the contention that role of Fe3+in enhancing catalytic activity in Ni oxide catalysts arises from its Lewis acid properties.

    « less