Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution from Molybdenum Sulfide–Polymer Composite Films on Carbon Electrodes

The design of more efficient catalytic electrodes remains an important objective for the development of water splitting electrolyzers. In this context a structured composite cathode material has been synthesized by electrodeposition of molybdenum sulfide (MoSx) into a poly­(pyrrole-alkylammonium) matrix, previously coated onto carbon electrodes by oxidative electropolymerization of a pyrrole-alkylammonium monomer. The composite material showed an efficient electrocatalytic activity toward proton reduction and the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Data from Tafel plots have demonstrated that the electron transfer rate in the composite films is fast, in agreement with the high catalytic activity of this cathode material. Bulk electrolysis of acidic water at carbon foam electrodes modified with the composite have shown that the cathodes display a high catalytic activity and a reasonable operational stability, largely exceeding that of regular amorphous MoSx electrodeposited on naked carbon foam. The enhanced catalytic performances of the composite electrode material were attributed to the structuration of the composite, which led to a homogeneous distribution of the catalyst on the carbon foam network, as shown by SEM characterizations.