Laser synthesis of amorphous CoSx nanospheres for efficient hydrogen evolution and nitrogen reduction reactions

Lili Zhao, Bin Chang, Tianjiao Dong, Haifeng Yuan, Yue Li, Zhenfei Tang, Zhen Liu, Hong Liu, Xiaoli Zhang, Weijia Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Transition metal sulfides (TMSs) have been demonstrated to be excellent electrode materials for various applications of electrochemical energy conversion and storage. However, the synthesis of TMSs through conventional approaches commonly suffers from toxic or environmentally unfriendly reagents as well as time consuming procedures, high thermal power and energy loss. Herein, CoSx nanospheres with uniform distribution and strong adhesion on carbon fiber cloths (CoSx/CC-L) are synthesized via the confined laser temperature field under a H2S atmosphere under normal temperature and pressure conditions. It is demonstrated that the high pressure field induced by a laser yields amorphous CoSx containing numerous S vacancies, which could provide more active sites for enhancing the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR). The as-prepared CoSx/CC-L exhibits a low overpotential of ∼87 mV at 10 mA cm−2 for the HER in 0.5 M H2SO4 aqueous electrolyte and maintains a stable catalytic performance for 15 h with a high current density of 650 mA cm−2. In addition, a high ammonia (NH3) production rate (12.2 μg h−1 cmcat−2) and Faraday efficiency (10.1%) of CoSx/CC-L at −0.2 V vs. RHE in a neutral 0.05 M Na2SO4 electrolyte were obtained. The good proton activation and nitrogen adsorption abilities arising from the sulfur vacancies contribute to the active nitrogen association/hydrogenation process during the NRR. The laser synthesis provides an alternative process to produce efficient amorphous catalysts, which are expected to be promising HER and NRR electrocatalysts for energy conversion applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20071-20079
Number of pages9
Issue number37
StatePublished - Jul 9 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Taishan Scholar Project of Shandong Province (tsqn201812083), the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2019YQ20, ZR2019BB001, ZR2021JQ15, and ZR2021QE011), the Innovative Team Project of Jinan (2021GXRC019), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51902132, 51972147, and 52022037), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2021M701402), the Postdoctoral Innovative Talents Support Program of Shandong Province (SDBX2020009) and the Open Project Program of the State Key Laboratory of Photocatalysis on Energy and Environment (SKLPEE-KF202110).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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