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Issue 32, 2020
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Activating VS2 basal planes for enhanced NRR electrocatalysis: the synergistic role of S-vacancies and B dopants

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Abstract

The nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR) is a pivotal step in electrochemical N2 fixation to NH3. VS2 holds great promise as a NRR electrocatalyst, but its high activity requires the sufficient activation of inert basal planes. Herein, we demonstrate the first successful activation of VS2 basal planes toward the NRR by introducing S-vacancies (Vs) and B-dopants. The theoretical calculations unravel that the synergistic role of VS and B-dopants enables the most effective activation of VS2 basal planes by creating unique B-adjacent-unsaturated-V active sites that can significantly promote the NRR while suppressing hydrogen evolution. The synthesized B-doped VS2 nanoflowers with enriched surface Vs delivered an NH3 yield of 55.7 μg h−1 mg−1 (−0.4 V) and a faradaic efficiency (FE) of 16.4% (−0.2 V) and represent the best V-based catalysts to date. Our theoretical and experimental findings may facilitate the exploration and understanding of advanced transition-metal disulfide catalysts for the NRR.

Graphical abstract: Activating VS2 basal planes for enhanced NRR electrocatalysis: the synergistic role of S-vacancies and B dopants

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
25 May 2020
Accepted
20 Jul 2020
First published
21 Jul 2020

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020,8, 16195-16202
Article type
Communication

Activating VS2 basal planes for enhanced NRR electrocatalysis: the synergistic role of S-vacancies and B dopants

Q. Li, Y. Guo, Y. Tian, W. Liu and K. Chu, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, 8, 16195
DOI: 10.1039/D0TA05282E

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