Molybdenum ditelluride rendered into an efficient and stable electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction by polymorphic control

McGlynn, J. C., Cascallana-Matías, I., Fraser, J. P., Roger, I., McAllister, J. , Miras, H. N. , Symes, M. D. and Ganin, A. Y. (2018) Molybdenum ditelluride rendered into an efficient and stable electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction by polymorphic control. Energy Technology, 6(2), pp. 345-350. (doi: 10.1002/ente.201700489)

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Abstract

The electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is of central importance for the production of H₂ from sustainable sources. Currently, platinum is the best electrocatalyst for this transformation, but other materials based on less precious elements are now attracting increasing attention. Of these alternatives, the molybdenum chalcogenides show particular promise. MoS₂ has been explored extensively in this regard, which has highlighted the important role of polymorphism for catalytic activity. However, the conversion process into an active polymorph is complex and the stability of the catalyst under electrochemical conditions is poor. In contrast, MoTe₂ has barely been studied as an electrocatalyst for the HER. Herein, we isolate the semiconducting and metallic polymorphs of MoTe₂ using an easy solid state route and show that interconversion between the two polymorphs of MoTe₂ can be achieved without change in morphology by a simple temperature annealing protocol. Whilst the semiconducting form is a rather poor electrocatalyst for the HER, the metallic 1T'-MoTe₂ polymorph is an efficient and stable electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction in 1 M H₂SO₄. Even in the bulk form, it achieved low overpotential with a Tafel slope of 78 ± 4 mV / dec and full Faradaic efficiency. These findings highlight the importance of polymorphic control in the development of HER catalysts, and suggest an efficient route for the discovery of new and improved electrocatalysts.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McAllister, James and Cascallana Matias, Irene and Roger Barba, Isolda and Ganin, Dr Alexey and Moiras, Dr Haralampos and McGlynn, Jessica and Symes, Dr Mark and Fraser, James
Authors: McGlynn, J. C., Cascallana-Matías, I., Fraser, J. P., Roger, I., McAllister, J., Miras, H. N., Symes, M. D., and Ganin, A. Y.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Energy Technology
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:2194-4288
ISSN (Online):2194-4296
Published Online:19 July 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Energy Technology 6(2): 345-350
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
621311Upgrading the small scale equipment base for early career researchers in the engineering and physical sciencesMiles PadgettEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/K031732/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
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