Amorphous Molybdenum Sulfide Films as Catalysts for Electrochemical Hydrogen Production in Water
Amorphous molybdenum sulfide films are efficient hydrogen evolution catalysts in water. The films are prepared via simple electro-polymerization procedures and are characterized by XPS, electron microscopy and electronic absorption spectroscopy. Whereas the precatalysts could be MoS3 or MoS2, the active form of the catalysts is identified as amorphous MoS2. Significant geometric current densities are achieved at low overpotentials (e.g., 15 mA cm−2 at η = 200 mV) using these catalysts. The catalysis is compatible with a wide range of pHs (e.g., 0 to 13). The current efficiency for hydrogen production is quantitative. A 40 mV Tafel slope is observed, suggesting a rate-determining ion+atom step. The turnover frequency per active site is calculated. The amorphous molybdenum sulfide films are among the most active non-precious hydrogen evolution catalysts.