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Nat Commun ; 10(1): 1217, 2019 03 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30872576


Molybdenum disulfide is naturally inert for alkaline hydrogen evolution catalysis, due to its unfavorable water adsorption and dissociation feature originated from the unsuitable orbital orientation. Herein, we successfully endow molybdenum disulfide with exceptional alkaline hydrogen evolution capability by carbon-induced orbital modulation. The prepared carbon doped molybdenum disulfide displays an unprecedented overpotential of 45 mV at 10 mA cm-2, which is substantially lower than 228 mV of the molybdenum disulfide and also represents the best alkaline hydrogen evolution catalytic activity among the ever-reported molybdenum disulfide catalysts. Fine structural analysis indicates the electronic and coordination structures of molybdenum disulfide have been significantly changed with carbon incorporation. Moreover, theoretical calculation further reveals carbon doping could create empty 2p orbitals perpendicular to the basal plane, enabling energetically favorable water adsorption and dissociation. The concept of orbital modulation could offer a unique approach for the rational design of hydrogen evolution catalysts and beyond.

Adv Mater ; 31(16): e1807780, 2019 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30811711


Although it is commonly believed that the water-dissociation-related Volmer process is the rate-limiting step for alkaline hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) on Pt-based catalysts, the underlying essence, particularly on the atomic scale, still remains unclear. Herein, it is revealed that the sluggish water-dissociation behavior probably stems from unfavorable orbital orientation and the kinetic issue is successfully resolved via N-induced orbital tuning. Impressively, N modified Pt-Ni nanowires deliver an ultralow overpotential of 13 mV at 10 mA cm-2 , which represents a new benchmark for alkaline HER catalysis. Fine-structural characterization and density functional theory analysis illustrate that the introduced nitrogen can uniquely modulate the electron densities around the Ni sites, and further create empty dz 2 orbitals with superior orientation for water adsorption and activation. More importantly, it is demonstrated that N-induced orbital modulation can generally boost the alkaline HER activities of Pt-Co, Pt-Ni, and Pt-Cu, offering a new perspective for the design of HER catalysts and beyond.

Nat Commun ; 9(1): 1425, 2018 04 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29651037


Metal sulfides for hydrogen evolution catalysis typically suffer from unfavorable hydrogen desorption properties due to the strong interaction between the adsorbed H and the intensely electronegative sulfur. Here, we demonstrate a general strategy to improve the hydrogen evolution catalysis of metal sulfides by modulating the surface electron densities. The N modulated NiCo2S4 nanowire arrays exhibit an overpotential of 41 mV at 10 mA cm-2 and a Tafel slope of 37 mV dec-1, which are very close to the performance of the benchmark Pt/C in alkaline condition. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and density functional theory studies consistently confirm the surface electron densities of NiCo2S4 have been effectively manipulated by N doping. The capability to modulate the electron densities of the catalytic sites could provide valuable insights for the rational design of highly efficient catalysts for hydrogen evolution and beyond.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 57(18): 5076-5080, 2018 Apr 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29498161


Endowing materials with specific functions that are not readily available is always of great importance, but extremely challenging. Co4 N, with its beneficial metallic characteristics, has been proved to be highly active for the oxidation of water, while it is notoriously poor for catalyzing the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), because of its unfavorable d-band energy level. Herein, we successfully endow Co4 N with prominent HER catalytic capability by tailoring the positions of the d-band center through transition-metal doping. The V-doped Co4 N nanosheets display an overpotential of 37 mV at 10 mA cm-2 , which is substantially better than Co4 N and even close to the benchmark Pt/C catalysts. XANES, UPS, and DFT calculations consistently reveal the enhanced performance is attributed to the downshift of the d-band center, which helps facilitate the H desorption. This concept could provide valuable insights into the design of other catalysts for HER and beyond.