In situ electrochemically synthesized Pt-MoO3−x nanostructure catalysts for efficient hydrogen evolution reaction

Daewon Lee, Youngmin Kim, Hyun Woo Kim, Min Choi, Noejung Park, Hyunju Chang, Youngkook Kwon, Jong Hyeok Park, Hyung Ju Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Designing and preparing highly active and stable nanostructured Pt-based catalysts with ultralow Pt loading are still challenging for electrochemical applications such as water electrolysis and fuel cells. Here we report for the first time an in situ electrochemical process to synthesize Pt-MoO3−x nanoflakes (NFs) overgrown on commercial bulk MoS2 by employing a facile and simple electrochemical method without using any expensive precious metal salts. The overgrowth of Pt-MoO3−x NFs on the bulk MoS2 surface is conducted by applying electrical energy to the bulk MoS2 and using Pt counter electrode dissolution in an acidic solution. In spite of their 10 times lower Pt loadings compared to commercial Pt black (Alfa Aesar), the synthesized Pt-MoO3−x NFs demonstrate excellent catalytic performance with a Pt mass activity of 2.83 A/mgPt at the overpotential of 100 mV for electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), an approximately 4 times higher value than the value of 0.76 A/mgPt at the overpotential of 100 mV for commercial Pt black. We hypothesize that the outstanding HER characteristics of Pt-MoO3−x NFs are related to the existence and increase of Pt-MoO3 interfacial sites and oxygen vacancy sites such as Mo5+ in the Pt-MoO3−x NF structures. In addition, our density functional theory (DFT) calculations demonstrate that Pt and O sites at Pt and MoO3 interfaces and O sites at defective MoO3−x in the Pt-MoO3−x NFs contribute to accelerate the HER.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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