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Issue 3, 2013
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Highly active and durable nanostructured molybdenum carbide electrocatalysts for hydrogen production

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Abstract

In an attempt to tailor low-cost, precious-metal-free electrocatalysts for water electrolysis in acid, molybdenum carbide (β-Mo2C) nanoparticles are prepared by in situ carburization of ammonium molybdate on carbon nanotubes and XC-72R carbon black without using any gaseous carbon source. The formation of Mo2C is investigated by thermogravimetry and in situ X-ray diffraction. X-ray absorption analysis reveals that Mo2C nanoparticles are inlaid or anchored into the carbon supports, and the electronic modification makes the surface exhibit a relatively moderate Mo–H bond strength. It is found that carbon nanotube-supported Mo2C showed superior electrocatalytic activity and stability in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) compared to the bulk Mo2C. An overpotential of 63 mV for driving 1 mA cm−2 of current density was measured for the nanotube-supported Mo2C catalysts; this exceeds the activity of analogous Mo2C catalysts. The enhanced electrochemical activity is facilitated by unique effects of the anchored structure coupled with the electronic modification.

Graphical abstract: Highly active and durable nanostructured molybdenum carbide electrocatalysts for hydrogen production

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Article information


Submitted
24 Oct 2012
Accepted
19 Dec 2012
First published
31 Jan 2013

Energy Environ. Sci., 2013,6, 943-951
Article type
Paper

Highly active and durable nanostructured molybdenum carbide electrocatalysts for hydrogen production

W.-F. Chen, C.-H. Wang, K. Sasaki, N. Marinkovic, W. Xu, J. T. Muckerman, Y. Zhu and R. R. Adzic, Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 943
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE23891H

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