MoOxSy/Ni3S2Microspheres on Ni Foam as Highly Efficient, Durable Electrocatalysts for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction

Zihuan Yu, Huiqin Yao, Yan Yang, Mengwei Yuan, Cheng Li, Haiying He, Ting Shan Chan, Dongpeng Yan, Shulan Ma*, Peter Zapol, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Hydrogen energy derived from water splitting is the cleanest renewable energy source, but it is also very challenging to achieve because the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) requires highly efficient and low-cost electrocatalysts. We have fabricated a novel hierarchical system of amorphous molybdenum oxy/sulfide microspheres with crystalline Ni3S2 intergrown in situ on Ni foam (MoOxSy/Ni3S2/NF) as an outstanding electrocatalyst for HER. The MoOxSy/Ni3S2/NF demonstrates an ultra-low overpotential of 58 mV at a current density of 10 mA cm-2 and extremely durable stability (>200 h), suggesting superior performance comparable to that of Pt-C/NF under acidic conditions. The X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) determines the average valence state of Mo to be +(5 + δ), with a coordination motif by O and S. To explain such high HER activity, a [Mo2O2(S,O)4] dimer-based periodic model structure with the average composition of [Mo4O8S4] interfaced with the Ni3S2(101) surface is proposed. The interactions between the Ni of Ni3S2 and bridging S/O of [Mo4O8S4] result in an average formal Mo charge state between +5 and +6, and significant charge transfer from Ni3S2 to [Mo4O8S4] activates the Mo═O bonds. The calculated |ΔGH*| of less than 50 meV suggests that the double-bonded O is the most active site. This work points to the importance of oxy/sulfides with Mon+ (+5 < n<+6) as exceptional electrochemical catalysts for HER.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-808
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 25 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'MoOxSy/Ni3S2Microspheres on Ni Foam as Highly Efficient, Durable Electrocatalysts for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this