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Issue 33, 2017
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Copper dopants improved the hydrogen evolution activity of earth-abundant cobalt pyrite catalysts by activating the electrocatalytically inert sulfur sites

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Abstract

Cobalt pyrite (CoS2) is considered to be a promising catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) due to its intrinsic metallicity and high catalytic activity. However, the catalytically inert S-sites and sluggish reaction kinetics severely impede its commercial application. Herein, combining systematic theoretical and experimental approaches, a highly active and stable Cu doped CoS2 catalyst for the HER is demonstrated. Cu dopants are proven to not only reduce the hydrogen adsorption free energy (ΔGH*) of the Co sites from 0.41 eV to −0.13 eV, but also arouse the inert S sites with the low ΔGH* of −0.11 eV. A large cathode current density (10 mA cm−2 at 52 mV), low Tafel slope (42 mV dec−1), large exchange current density (0.68 mA cm−2), and good stability were observed in the Co0.93Cu0.07S2 catalyst, which are better than those found for the previously reported CoS2-based catalysts. The success of improving the electrochemical performance via the introduction of Cu dopants offers new opportunities in the development of high performance CoS2-based electrodes for other energy-related applications.

Graphical abstract: Copper dopants improved the hydrogen evolution activity of earth-abundant cobalt pyrite catalysts by activating the electrocatalytically inert sulfur sites

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Jun 2017, accepted on 25 Jul 2017 and first published on 25 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA05433E
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 17601-17608
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    Copper dopants improved the hydrogen evolution activity of earth-abundant cobalt pyrite catalysts by activating the electrocatalytically inert sulfur sites

    J. Zhang, B. Xiao, X. Liu, P. Liu, P. Xi, W. Xiao, J. Ding, D. Gao and D. Xue, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 17601
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA05433E

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