Molybdenum sulfides-efficient and viable materials for electro - and photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

Anders Bo Laursen, Søren Kegnæs, Søren Dahl, Ib Chorkendorff

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This perspective covers the use of molybdenum disulfide and related compounds, generally termed MoSx, as electro- or photoelectrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). State of the art solutions as well as the most illustrative results from the extensive electro- and photoelectrocatalytic literature are given. The research strategies currently employed in the field are outlined and future challenges pointed out. We suggest that the key to optimising the HER activity of MoS2 is divided into (1) increasing the catalytic activity of the active site, (2) increasing the number of active sites of the catalyst, and (3) improving the electrical contact to these sites. These postulations are substantiated by examples from the existing literature and some new results. To demonstrate the electrocatalytic properties of a highly conductive MoS2 hybrid material, we present the HER activity data for multi-wall MoS2 nanotubes on multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWMoS2@MWCNTs). This exemplifies the typical data collected for the electrochemical HER. In addition, it demonstrates that the origin of the activity is closely related to the amount of edges in the layered MoS2. The photoelectrocatalytic HER is also discussed, based on examples from literature, with an emphasis on the use of MoSx as either (1) the co-catalyst providing the HER activity for a semiconductor, e. g. Mo3S4+ on Si or (2) MoS2 as the semiconductor with an intrinsic HER activity. Finally, suggestions for future catalyst designs are given.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy & Environmental Science
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)5577-5591
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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