Indented Cu2MoS4 nanosheets with enhanced electrocatalytic and photocatalytic activities realized through edge engineering
Edges often play a role as active centers for catalytic reactions in some nanomaterials. Therefore it is highly desirable to enhance catalytic activity of a material through modulating the microstructure of the edges. However, the study associated with edge engineering is less investigated and still at its preliminary stage. Here we report that Cu2MoS4 nanosheets with indented edges can be fabricated through a simple chemical etching route at room temperature, using Cu2MoS4 nanosheets with flat ones as sacrifice templates. Taking the electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) and conversion of benzyl alcohol as examples, the catalytic activity of Cu2MoS4 indented nanosheets (INSs) obtained through edge engineering was comparatively studied with those of Cu2MoS4 flat nanosheets (FNSs) without any modification. The photocatalytic tests revealed that the catalytic active sites of Cu2MoS4 nanosheets were associated with their edges rather than basal planes. Cu2MoS4 INSs were endowed with larger electrochemically active surface area (ECSA), more active edges and better hydrophilicity through the edge engineering. As a result, the as-fabricated Cu2MoS4 INSs exhibited an excellent HER activity with a small Tafel slope of 77 mV dec−1, which is among the best records for Cu2MoS4 catalysts. The present work demonstrated the validity of adjusting catalytic activity of the material through edge engineering and provided a new strategy for designing and developing highly efficient catalysts.