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Issue 39, 2017
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Well-dispersed molybdenum nitrides on a nitrogen-doped carbon matrix for highly efficient hydrogen evolution in alkaline media

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Abstract

Well-dispersed and highly efficient molybdenum nitrides on a nitrogen-doped carbon matrix (Mo2N@NC) are reported as a new and active electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution in alkaline electrolyte. The key point in fabricating this catalyst is using HNO3-treated melamine, other than pristine melamine, as carbon and nitrogen pools to realize the complete nitridation of MoO3 to Mo2N nanoparticles of 4 nm size and at the same time to generate a nitrogen-doped carbon matrix to support these nanoparticles by thermolysis under an Ar atmosphere. The as-prepared Mo2N@NC exhibits excellent HER activity in 1 M KOH with a pretty low overpotential of 85 mV to achieve a current density of 10 mA cm−2 and a small Tafel slope of 54 mV dec−1, which is among the best for Mo-based compounds and better than those of most non-noble metal electrocatalysts to date in alkaline media. It is also much better than those of the incomplete nitride compounds (MoO2/Mo2N@NC) and the mixture of nitrides and carbides (Mo2N/Mo2C@NC) fabricated under similar conditions, from aspects of overpotential, Tafel slope, exchange current density, conductivity, active surface area and turnover frequencies. Therefore, Mo2N represents a new kind of very active HER catalyst in alkaline electrolyte. Also, this work provides an effective method to fabricate metal nitrides/carbon composites for other applications.

Graphical abstract: Well-dispersed molybdenum nitrides on a nitrogen-doped carbon matrix for highly efficient hydrogen evolution in alkaline media

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Aug 2017, accepted on 13 Sep 2017 and first published on 13 Sep 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA06981B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 20932-20937
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    Well-dispersed molybdenum nitrides on a nitrogen-doped carbon matrix for highly efficient hydrogen evolution in alkaline media

    Z. Lv, M. Tahir, X. Lang, G. Yuan, L. Pan, X. Zhang and J. Zou, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 20932
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA06981B

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