Nano-structured hybrid molybdenum carbides/nitrides generated in situ for HER applications†
A nanohybrid material containing carbon-supported molybdenum carbide and nitride nanoparticles of size ranging from 8 to 12 nm exhibits excellent HER catalytic activity. This molybdenum based catalyst (MoCat) is designed as a highly efficient, low-cost (precious-metal-free), highly stable electrocatalyst for water electrolysis in acidic media, and synthesized using a simple methodology. These nanoparticles (β-Mo2C and γ-Mo2N) were produced in situ using a metal precursor and C/N source via a controlled solid state reaction. An overpotential of 96 mV for driving a current density of 10 mA cm−2 was measured for the MoCat catalyst, which is very close to that of commercially available Pt/C catalysts (61 mV).