Ultra-small cobalt nanocrystals embedded in 2D-MoS2 nano-sheets as efficient co-catalyst for solar-driven hydrogen production: Study of evolution rate dependence on cobalt nanocrystal size

Hwan Lee, D. Amaranatha Reddy, D. Praveen Kumar, Manho Lim, Tae Kyu Kim

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9 Citations (Scopus)


2D-MoS2 nanostructures are attractive co-catalysts for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution due to their suitable water reduction potentials and high stability. However, the catalytic activity of MoS2 is greatly limited by the catalytically inert basal planes. Doping of transition-metal ions into MoS2 structure is an effective way to activating the basal planes. To this end, the formation of size-controlled metal nanocrystals with clean surface and mono dispersed nature is a current challenge. Here we utilized pulsed laser ablation in liquid approach to generate high purity size controlled cobalt nanocrystal by adjusting the laser fluences and systematically evaluate the effect of cobalt nanocrystals size and concentration on MoS2 to activate the basal planes. A set of Co-MoS2/CdS nanorods with different cobalt size were examined, and an optimal cobalt size of 3.1 nm was obtained. The optimized CdS/Co-MoS2 nanocomposite showed a very high H2 production rate (275 mmol h−1 g−1) with outstanding stability. To the best of our knowledge, this is the best performance reported for CdS/MoS2 based nanocomposites. The remarkable hydrogen evolution rate and stability may be due to reduced recombination rate and greatly increased density of catalytic active sites which is determined by photoluminescence and impedance spectroscopy. Finally, we believe that the strategies applied in the present study to form robust photocatalysts and its utilization in solar driven hydrogen production would inspire the development of other low-cost photocatalysts for renewable fuel production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the Korean government ( 2014R1A4A1001690 , 2016K1A4A4A01922028 , and 2016R1E1A1A01941978 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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