Generation of Ni3S2 nanorod arrays with high-density bridging S22− by introducing a small amount of Na3VO4·12H2O for superior hydrogen evolution reaction†
Bridging S22− moieties have been demonstrated to be highly active sites existing in metal polysulfides for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), thus the incorporation of high-density bridging S22− into a Ni3S2 material to improve its electrocatalytic HER performance is highly desirable and challenging. Herein, we report a novel Ni3S2 nanorod array decorated with (020)-oriented VS4 nanocrystals grown on nickel foam (Shig-NS-rod/NF) via a simple and facile solvothermal method. Results show that the in situ incorporation of VS4 not only triggers the formation of such a nanorod array structure, but also contributes to the uniform grafting of high-density and high catalytically active bridging S22− sites on the interface between Ni3S2 and VS4 for enhanced HER activity, and also promotes the absorption ability of OH− radicals and thus accelerates the HER Volmer step in alkaline media. As expected, the resultant Shig-NS-rod/NF material exhibits impressive catalytic performance toward the HER, with a much lower overpotential of 137 mV at 10 mA cm−2 and a long-term durability for at least 22 h, and is superior to Ni3S2 nanorod arrays with low-density bridging S22− (Slow-NS-rod/NF) and NS-film/NF counterparts (without VS4), even outperforming the NF-supported 20% Pt/C at a large current density of over 120 mA cm−2. Our findings put forward fresh insight into the rational design of highly efficient electrocatalysts toward the HER for green hydrogen fuel production.