We describe the spontaneous formation of composite chalcogenide materials that consist of two-dimensional (2D) materials dispersed in bulk and their unusual charge transport properties for application in hydrogen evolution reactions (HERs). When MoS2 as a representative 2D material is deposited on transition metals (such as Cu) in a controlled manner, the sulfidation reactions also occur with the metal. This process results in remarkably unique structures, that is, bulk layered heterojunctions (BLHJs) of Cu–Mo–S that contain MoS2 flakes inside, which are uniformly dispersed in the Cu2S matrix. The resulting structures were expected to induce asymmetric charge transfer via layered frameworks and tested as electrocatalysts for HERs. Upon suitable thermal treatments, the BLHJ surfaces exhibited the efficient HER performance of approximately 10 mA/cm2 at a potential of −0.1 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode. The Tafel slope was approximately 30 to 40 mV per decade. The present strategy was further generalized by demonstrating the formation of BLHJs on other transition metals, such as Ni. The resulting BLHJs of Ni–Mo–S also showed the remarkable HER performance and the stable operation over 10 days without using Pt counter electrodes by eliminating any possible issues on the Pt contamination.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank J. Hwang and S. W. Kim for the XRD measurements. Funding: We acknowledge the grant by the Samsung Science and Technology Foundation (SRFC-MA1502-09). Author contributions: C.B. and H.S. conceived the project. C.B. developed the present strategy. C.B., H.K., and T.A.H. prepared the samples. C.B., T.A.H., S. Lee, M.K., J.M.M.-M., J.H.P., and H.S. analyzed the structures. C.B., J.M.M.-M., and T.A.H. carried out the electrochemical experiments. C.B., S. Lim, and H.Y. performed the local probe experiments and analysis. C.B. and H.S. coadvised the research. C.B. wrote the manuscript. All authors reviewed the paper.
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