The direct hydrothermal deposition of cobalt-doped MoS2 onto fluorine-doped SnO2 substrates for catalysis of the electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction†
Metal chalcogenides, and doped molybdenum sulfides in particular, have considerable potential as earth-abundant electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction. This is especially true in the case of solar-to-hydrogen devices, where an ability to deposit these materials on transparent substrates is therefore desirable. Hydrothermal methods are perhaps the most common route by which metal chalcogenide materials suitable for the hydrogen evolution reaction are produced. Such methods are simple and scalable, but the direct hydrothermal deposition of metal chalcogenides on transparent oxide electrodes has hitherto never been reported. Such an advance would greatly facilitate the expansion of the field by removing the requirement for separate hydrothermal-synthesis and catalyst-deposition steps. In this paper, we show that the ternary chalcogenide Co2Mo9S26 can be synthesised on a fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate by hydrothermal methods directly from solutions of the simple metal salts. These films display good activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction from acid solution, achieving current densities of 10 mA cm−2 at 260 mV overpotential with a Tafel slope of 64 mV per decade. Moreover, the resulting films can be made to be translucent, a very useful property which would allow light to be transmitted through the catalyst to an underlying light-harvesting array in any solar-to-hydrogen device employing this material at the cathode.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Open Access Articles