Comparative study on MoS2 and WS2 for electrocatalytic water splitting

Tzu Yin Chen, Yung Huang Chang, Chang Lung Hsu, Kung Hwa Wei, Chia Ying Chiang*, Lain Jong Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Replacing Pt by earth abundant catalysts is one of the most important tasks toward potential large-scale HER applications. Among many potential candidates, low cost and earth abundant transition metal dichalcogenides such as MoS 2 and WS2 have been promising as good H2 evolution electrocatalysts when they are engineered into the structures with active sites. In this work, we have performed systematic studies on the catalytic reactivity of both MoS2 and WS2 materials produced by one-step and scalable thermolysis from (NH4) 2WS4 and (NH4)2MoS4 precursors respectively. Structural analysis shows that these materials prepared at a higher thermolysis temperature exhibit higher crystallinity. The H 2 evolution electrocatalysts efficiency for the MoS2 prepared at a lower temperature is higher than those at higher temperatures, where amorphous MoS2 or S22- species instead of crystalline MoS2 is the main active site. By contrast, crystalline WS2 prepared at high temperature is identified to be the key reaction site. Both catalysts display excellent efficiency and durability as an electrocatalyst operating in acidic electrolytes. This work provides fundamental insights for further design and preparation of emergent metal dichalcogenide catalysts, beneficial for the development in clean energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12302-12309
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number28
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrocatalytic reaction
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction
  • Molybdenum disulfide
  • Tungsten disulfide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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