Tuning the MoS2 edge-site activity for hydrogen evolution via support interactions

Charlie Tsai, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Jens K. Nørskov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) on supported MoS2 catalysts is investigated using periodic density functional theory, employing the new BEEF-vdW functional that explicitly takes long-range van der Waals (vdW) forces into account. We find that the support interactions involving vdW forces leads to significant changes in the hydrogen binding energy, resulting in several orders of magnitude difference in HER activity. It is generally seen for the Mo-edge that strong adhesion of the catalyst onto the support leads to weakening in the hydrogen binding. This presents a way to optimally tune the hydrogen binding on MoS2 and explains the lower than expected exchange current densities of supported MoS2 in electrochemical H2 evolution studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNano letters
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1381-1387
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Density functional theory
  • Hydrogen evolution
  • Molybdenum disulfide
  • Support interactions
  • van der Waals

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