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Theoretical Insights into the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction on VGe2N4 and NbGe2N4 Monolayers

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journal contribution
posted on 24.02.2022, 20:45 authored by Mihir Ranjan Sahoo, Avijeet Ray, Nirpendra Singh
Catalytically active sites at the basal plane of two-dimensional monolayers for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) are important for the mass production of hydrogen. The structural, electronic, and catalytic properties of two-dimensional VGe2N4 and NbGe2N4 monolayers are demonstrated using the first-principles calculations. The dynamical stability is confirmed through phonon calculations, followed by computation of the electronic structure employing the hybrid functional HSE06 and PBE+U. Here, we introduced two strategies, strain and doping, to tune their catalytic properties toward HER. Our results show that the HER activity of VGe2N4 and NbGe2N4 monolayers are sensitive to the applied strain. A 3% tensile strain results in the adsorption Gibbs free energy (ΔGH*) of hydrogen for the NbGe2N4 monolayer of 0.015 eV, indicating better activity than Pt (−0.09 eV). At the compressive strain of 3%, the ΔGH* value is −0.09 eV for the VGe2N4 monolayer, which is comparable to that of Pt. The exchange current density for the P doping at the N site of the NbGe2N4 monolayer makes it a promising electrocatalyst for HER (ΔGH* = 0.11 eV). Our findings imply the great potential of the VGe2N4 and NbGe2N4 monolayers as electrocatalysts for HER activity.