Tailored synthesis of Zn-N co-doped porous MoC nanosheets towards efficient hydrogen evolution

Qing Cao, Lili Zhao, Aili Wang, Linjing Yang, Linfei Lai, Zhong Li Wang, Jeonghun Kim, Weijia Zhou, Yusuke Yamauchi, Jianjian Lin

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Developing non-precious metal catalysts with both high efficiency and long-term stability is the top priority for hydrogen evolution reactions (HER). Herein, we present a facile two-step method to synthesize Zn, N co-doped molybdenum carbide nanosheets (Zn-N-MoC-H NSs) by using bi-metal oxides of ZnMoO 4 as a unique precursor. Zn not only serves as a template to form a porous structure on MoC nanosheets during volatilizing at high temperatures, but also acts as a doping source for Zn doping in MoC. The N-containing carbon source realizes N doping of MoC. Benefitting from Zn, N co-doping and the porous nanosheet structure with a large electrochemical surface area, Zn-N-MoC-H NSs lead to enhanced HER activity in an acidic electrolyte (0.5 M H 2 SO 4 ) with a low onset potential of -66 mV vs. RHE (1 mA cm -2 ), overpotential of 128 mV (10 mA cm -2 ), small Tafel slope of 52.1 mV dec -1 and persistent long-term stability. Density functional theory calculations reveal that Zn, N co-doping can synergistically weaken the strong Mo-H bonding, improve absorbed hydrogen atom (H ads ) desorption and lead to faster HER kinetics. This study provides new insights into the use of Zn as a template and electronic regulator toward efficient catalysis and applications in energy storage and conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1700-1709
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 28

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61604070, 51502096), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20161000), the Tip-top Scientific and Technical Innovative Youth Talents of Guangdong Special Support Program (2016TQ03N541), the Guangdong Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholar (2017B030306001), and the Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Program (2014ZT05N200).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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