Phase-dependent growth of Pt on MoS2 for highly efficient H2 evolution

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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  • Zhenyu Shi
  • Xiao Zhang
  • Xiaoqian Lin
  • Guigao Liu
  • Chongyi Ling
  • Shibo Xi
  • Bo Chen
  • Yiyao Ge
  • Zhuangchai Lai
  • Zhiqi Huang
  • Xixi Wang
  • Gwang-Hyeon Nam
  • Jiawei Liu
  • Qiyuan He
  • Zhiqiang Guan
  • Jinlan Wang
  • Chun-Sing Lee
  • Anthony R. J. Kucernak
  • Hua Zhang


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-305
Journal / PublicationNature
Issue number7978
Online published13 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2023


Crystal phase is a key factor determining the properties, and hence functions, of two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs)1,2. The TMD materials, explored for diverse applications3-8, commonly serve as templates for constructing nanomaterials3,9 and supported metal catalysts4,6-8. However, how the TMD crystal phase affects the growth of the secondary material is poorly understood, although relevant, particularly for catalyst development. In the case of Pt nanoparticles on two-dimensional MoS2 nanosheets used as electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction7, only about two thirds of Pt nanoparticles were epitaxially grown on the MoS2 template composed of the metallic/semimetallic 1T/1T′ phase but with thermodynamically stable and poorly conducting 2H phase mixed in. Here we report the production of MoS2 nanosheets with high phase purity and show that the 2H-phase templates facilitate the epitaxial growth of Pt nanoparticles, whereas the 1T′ phase supports single-atomically dispersed Pt (s-Pt) atoms with Pt loading up to 10 wt%. We find that the Pt atoms in this s-Pt/1T′-MoS2 system occupy three distinct sites, with density functional theory calculations indicating for Pt atoms located atop of Mo atoms a hydrogen adsorption free energy of close to zero. This probably contributes to efficient electrocatalytic H2 evolution in acidic media, where we measure for s-Pt/1T′-MoS2 a mass activity of 85 ± 23 A mg−1Pt at the overpotential of −50 mV and a mass-normalized exchange current density of 127 A mg−1Pt and we see stable performance in an H-type cell and prototype proton exchange membrane electrolyser operated at room temperature. Although phase stability limitations prevent operation at high temperatures, we anticipate that 1T′-TMDs will also be effective supports for other catalysts targeting other important reactions. © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2023

Citation Format(s)

Phase-dependent growth of Pt on MoS2 for highly efficient H2 evolution. / Shi, Zhenyu; Zhang, Xiao; Lin, Xiaoqian et al.
In: Nature, Vol. 621, No. 7978, 14.09.2023, p. 300-305.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review