Synergistic Effect of Molybdenum and Tungsten in Highly Mixed Carbide Nanoparticles as Effective Catalysts in the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction under Alkaline and Acidic Conditions

Fu, Q. and Peng, B. and Masa, J. and Chen, Y.-T. and Xia, W. and Schuhmann, W. and Muhler, M.

Volume: 7 Pages: 983-988
DOI: 10.1002/celc.202000047
Published: 2020

Monometallic Mo and W carbides as well as highly mixed (Mo,W) carbides with various Mo/W ratios were synthesized directly on oxygen-functionalized carbon nanotubes (OCNTs), and used as noble-metal-free electrocatalysts in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) under both acidic and alkaline conditions. A purely orthorhombic structure was found in both monometallic and mixed carbide samples by X-ray diffraction. Transmission electron microscopy images showed that the carbide particles were highly dispersed on the OCNTs with well-controlled particle size. The homogeneous distribution of Mo and W in the carbides was confirmed by elemental mapping. (Mo,W)2C/OCNT with a Mo/W ratio of 3 : 1 showed the lowest overpotential to reach a current density of 10 mA/cm2 (87 mV in 0.1 M KOH and 92 mV in 0.5 M H2SO4), and the smallest Tafel slope of 34 mV/dec. Long-term stability under both alkaline and acidic conditions was demonstrated for 24 h. Our results revealed that an optimal amount of W in the mixed carbide can significantly improve its performance in the HER following the Tafel reaction pathway, most likely due to the weakened Mo−Hads bond. © 2020 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

« back