Agaric-derived N-doped carbon nanorod arrays@nanosheet networks coupled with molybdenum carbide nanoparticles as highly efficient pH-universal hydrogen evolution electrocatalysts.


State Key Laboratory of Coordination Chemistry, Coordination Chemistry Institute, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, P. R. China. [Email]


Non-precious, stable and efficient catalysts for the pH-universal hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) are highly desirable to meet the vast energy demands. Herein, we report a facile and scalable strategy using agaric as a precursor to construct a Mo2C-based HER electrocatalyst consisting of ultrafine Mo2C nanoparticles embedded within biomass-derived 3D N-doped carbon nanorod arrays@nanosheet networks (Mo2C@N-CANs). This electrocatalyst is highly active for the pH-universal hydrogen evolution reaction and requires overpotentials of only 82 mV, 100 mV and 350 mV to drive a current density of -10 mA cm-2 in acidic, alkaline and neutral media, exhibiting stable operation for 3000 cycles and 24 h long-term stability. Theoretical calculations indicate that coupling Mo2C, N and CANs into a hybrid results in producing wrinkles on carbon nanolayers, which changes the direction of sp2 hybrid orbitals to push the Gibbs free energy toward zero. This result reinforces the presence of a synergy effect between Mo2C and N-CANs in Mo2C@N-CAN catalysts, which leads to their impressive HER performances.

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