The rapid electrochemical activation of MoTe2 for the hydrogen evolution reaction

McGlynn, J. C. et al. (2019) The rapid electrochemical activation of MoTe2 for the hydrogen evolution reaction. Nature Communications, 10, 4916. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12831-0) (PMID:31664018) (PMCID:PMC6820771)

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The electrochemical generation of hydrogen is a key enabling technology for the production of sustainable fuels. Transition metal chalcogenides show considerable promise as catalysts for this reaction, but to date there are very few reports of tellurides in this context, and none of these transition metal telluride catalysts are especially active. Here, we show that the catalytic performance of metallic 1T′-MoTe2 is improved dramatically when the electrode is held at cathodic bias. As a result, the overpotential required to maintain a current density of 10 mA cm−2 decreases from 320 mV to just 178 mV. We show that this rapid and reversible activation process has its origins in adsorption of H onto Te sites on the surface of 1T′-MoTe2. This activation process highlights the importance of subtle changes in the electronic structure of an electrode material and how these can influence the subsequent electrocatalytic activity that is displayed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cascallana Matias, Irene and Ganin, Dr Alexey and Moiras, Dr Haralampos and Fraser, Dr James and McGlynn, Miss Jessica and Gibson, Dr Emma and Symes, Professor Mark
Authors: McGlynn, J. C., Dankwort, T., Kienle, L., Bandeira, N. A.G., Fraser, J. P., Gibson, E. K., Cascallana-Matias, I., Kamaras, K., Symes, M., Miras, H. N., and Ganin, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Published Online:29 October 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Authors 2019
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 10:4916
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.892

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173359Modular assembly of high temperature superconductors from dimensionally reduced iron-based chalcogenide blocksAlexey GaninEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P001653/1Chemistry
300591Programmable Molecular Metal Oxides (PMMOs) - From Fundamentals to ApplicationLeroy CroninEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R01308X/1Chemistry