Structure and phase regulation in MoxC (Α-MoC1-x/Β-Mo2C) to enhance hydrogen evolution

Xiangyong Zhang, Junchao Wang, Ting Guo, Tianying Liu, Zhuangzhi Wu*, Luigi Cavallo, Zhen Cao, Dezhi Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Non-precious metal-based efficient electrocatalysts with superior activity and stability for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) are useful in solving energy and environmental crises. Herein, monodisperse inverse opal-like MoxC (α-MoC1-x/β-Mo2C) nanospheres were synthesized via a facile strategy to adjust the intrinsic activity and maximize the exposed active sites. In particular, the MoxC-0.4 with the optimal composition of α-MoC1-x/β-Mo2C (0.56/0.44) demonstrated a superior HER performance in 0.5 M H2SO4 with a small Tafel slope of 48 mV dec−1 and remarkable stability. Such prominent performance not only benefits from the inverse opal-like structure that provides more active sites for HER, but also should be ascribed to the strong synergistic effect between α-MoC1-x and β-Mo2C. Based on theoretical calculations, it is further verified that the synergistic effect of MoxC-0.4 is originated from the optimization of interaction with the H* induced by the heterostructure. Furthermore, this work will broaden our vision for highly efficient hydrogen production by bridging the microscopic structure with macroscopic catalytic performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Electrochemical catalyst
  • Heterostructure
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction
  • Molybdenum carbide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Catalysis


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