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Issue 43, 2017
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Ultrafast synthesis of molybdenum carbide nanoparticles for efficient hydrogen generation

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Abstract

A facile and ultrafast synthesis of molybdenum carbide coated with few-layer carbon (MoC/C) has been developed, and the effect of reducing the thickness of the carbon coating on its catalytic activity in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) has been demonstrated. MoC/C produces a current density of 20 mA cm−2 at an overpotential of 144 mV and a Tafel slope of 63.6 mV dec−1 in 0.5 M H2SO4, and works stably under long-term electrolysis. MoC/C is one of the most active carbide electrocatalysts reported thus far, although MoC is not even the most active phase of molybdenum carbide and MoC/C has a small surface area. Complementary density functional theory calculations have afforded insight into this novel catalyst design, showing that increasing the thickness of the carbon layer leads to the composite system losing the characteristics of MoC and behaving more like a carbon surface, and thereby resulting in a reduction in HER activity.

Graphical abstract: Ultrafast synthesis of molybdenum carbide nanoparticles for efficient hydrogen generation

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jul 2017, accepted on 09 Oct 2017 and first published on 10 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA06266D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 22805-22812
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    Ultrafast synthesis of molybdenum carbide nanoparticles for efficient hydrogen generation

    C. Lv, Z. Huang, Q. Yang, G. Wei, Z. Chen, M. G. Humphrey and C. Zhang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 22805
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA06266D

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