Engineering Mo/Mo2C/MoC hetero-interfaces for enhanced electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction†
The development of efficient and cost-effective electrocatalysts is essential for the electrochemical reduction of N2 to produce NH3 under ambient conditions. Herein, various well-dispersed Mo-based nanoparticles are selectively synthesized to reveal the influences of the compositions and hetero-interfaces on the performance for the N2 reduction reaction (NRR). Systematic experiments discovered that compared with single-component Mo2C or Mo nanoparticles, the heterostructured binary MoC/Mo2C and ternary Mo/MoC/Mo2C nanoparticles exhibit significantly enhanced NRR performance by creating abundant hetero-interfaces. Moreover, theoretical calculations reveal that the integration of metallic Mo with MoC/Mo2C appreciably reduces the energy demand for NH3 desorption, contributing to the enhanced NRR process. As a result, a remarkable NH3 yield rate of up to 20.4 μg h−1 mg−1 and a FE up to 18.9% can be achieved. These findings suggest that engineering crystalline phases and hetero-interfaces represents a new avenue for advancing the electrocatalytic performance of a NRR catalyst.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers