In situ confinement of Pt within three-dimensional MoO2@porous carbon for efficient hydrogen evolution†
Promoting the industrialization and widespread application of Pt-based catalysts is essential to electrochemical water-splitting systems. However, the development of cost-effective Pt-based catalysts still remains a huge challenge. Here we report a novel confinement method of small Pt nanoparticles in three-dimensional MoO2@porous carbon (Pt–MoO2@PC) using a metal–organic framework-assisted replacement strategy. Porous carbon acts as a matrix to confine Pt, achieving a high dispersion of Pt nanoparticles and providing fast electron transfer and ion penetration during the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). The MoO2 interface modulation leads to more thermal-neutral hydrogen adsorption free energy and thus enhances the intrinsic catalytic activity of Pt nanoparticles. The obtained Pt–MoO2@PC electrocatalyst with a low Pt amount of 8.32 wt% exhibits high HER performance, with an overpotential of 20 mV at −10 mA cm−2 and an 11-times higher mass activity than commercial Pt/C. This work can open new perspectives for the rational design of advanced electrocatalysts for sustainable energy applications.