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Doping of MoS2 by “Cu” and “V”: An Efficient Strategy for the Enhancement of Hydrogen Evolution Activity

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journal contribution
posted on 12.04.2021, 23:03 by Mamta Devi Sharma, Chavi Mahala, Brindaban Modak, Surojit Pande, Mrinmoyee Basu
To replace Pt-based compounds in the electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), MoS2 has already been established as an efficient catalyst. The electrocatalytic activity of MoS2 is further improved by tuning the morphology and the electronic structure through doping, which helps the band energy position to be modified. Presently, thin sheets of MoS2 (MoS2-TSs) are synthesized via a microwave technique. Thin sheets of MoS2 can outperform nanosheets of MoS2 in the HER. Further, the efficiency of the thin sheets is improved by doping with different metals like Cu, V, Zn, Mn, Fe, Sn, etc. “Cu”- and “V”-doped MoS2-TSs are highly efficient for the HER. At a fixed potential of −0.588 V vs RHE, Cu-doped MoS2 (Cu-MoS2-TS), V-doped MoS2 (V-MoS2-TS), and MoS2-TS can generate current densities of 327.46, 308.45, and 127.82 mA/cm2, respectively. The electrochemically active surface area increases nearly 7.7-fold and 2.5-fold for Cu-MoS2-TS and V-MoS2-TS than for MoS2-TS, respectively. Cu-MoS2-TS shows exceptionally high electrocatalytic stability up to 140 h in an acidic medium (0.5 M H2SO4). First-principles calculations using density functional theory (DFT) are performed, which are well matched with the experimental observations. DFT calculations dictate that after doping with “V” and “Cu” both valance band maxima and conduction band minima are uplifted, which indicates the higher hydrogen-ion-reducing ability of M-MoS2-TS (M = Cu, V) compared to bare MoS2-TS.