Identification of Active Edge Sites for Electrochemical H2 Evolution from MoS2 Nanocatalysts

Science  06 Jul 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5834, pp. 100-102
DOI: 10.1126/science.1141483

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The identification of the active sites in heterogeneous catalysis requires a combination of surface sensitive methods and reactivity studies. We determined the active site for hydrogen evolution, a reaction catalyzed by precious metals, on nanoparticulate molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) by atomically resolving the surface of this catalyst before measuring electrochemical activity in solution. By preparing MoS2 nanoparticles of different sizes, we systematically varied the distribution of surface sites on MoS2 nanoparticles on Au(111), which we quantified with scanning tunneling microscopy. Electrocatalytic activity measurements for hydrogen evolution correlate linearly with the number of edge sites on the MoS2 catalyst.

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