Mos2-carbon inter-overlapped structures as effective electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction

Po Chia Huang, Chia Ling Wu, Sanjaya Brahma, Muhammad Omar Shaikh, Jow Lay Huang, Jey Jau Lee, Sheng Chang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to generate hydrogen in an economic and sustainable manner is critical to the realization of a future hydrogen economy. Electrocatalytic water splitting into molecular hydrogen using the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) provides a viable option for hydrogen generation. Consequently, advanced non-precious metal based electrocatalysts that promote HER and reduce the overpotential are being widely researched. Here, we report on the development of MoS2-carbon inter-overlapped structures and their applicability for enhancing electrocatalytic HER. These structures were synthesized by a facile hot-injection method using ammonium tetrathiomolybdate ((NH4)2 MoS4) as the precursor and oleylamine (OLA) as the solvent, followed by a carbonization step. During the synthesis protocol, OLA not only plays the role of a reacting solvent but also acts as an intercalating agent which enlarges the interlayer spacing of MoS2 to form OLA-protected monolayer MoS2. After the carbonization step, the crystallinity improves substantially, and OLA can be completely converted into carbon, thus forming an inter-overlapped superstructure, as characterized in detail using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). A Tafel slope of 118 mV/dec is obtained for the monolayer MoS2-carbon superstructure, which shows a significant improvement, as compared to the 202 mV/dec observed for OLA-protected monolayer MoS2. The enhanced HER performance is attributed to the improved conductivity along the c-axis due to the presence of carbon and the abundance of active sites due to the interlayer expansion of the monolayer MoS2 by OLA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1389
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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