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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Transition Metal on the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction over Nano-Molybdenum-Carbide Catalyst

Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and Light Industry, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangdong 510006, China
Energy Conversion Engineering Group, Institute of Regional Innovation (IRI), Hirosaki University, 2-1-3 Matsubara, Aomori 030-0813, Japan
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Qufu Normal University, Qufu 273100, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2018, 8(7), 294;
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 22 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
PDF [5595 KB, uploaded 22 July 2018]


The highly efficient electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) provides a promising way to solve energy and environment problems. In this work, various transition metals (Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Ag, and Pt) were selected to support on molybdenum carbides by a simple organic-inorganic precursor carburization process. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis results indicated that the β-Mo2C phase was formed in all metal-doped samples. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis indicated that the binding energy of Mo2+ species (Mo2C) shifted to a lower value after metal was doped on the molybdenum carbide surface. Comparing with pure β-Mo2C, the electrocatalytic activity for HER was improved by transition metal doping on the surface. Remarkably, the catalytic activity improvement was more obvious when Pt was doped on molybdenum carbide (2% Pt-Mo2C). The 2% Pt-Mo2C required a η10 of 79 mV, and outperformed that of pure β-Mo2C (η10 = 410 mV) and other transition metal doped molybdenum carbides, with a small Tafel slope (55 mV/dec) and a low onset overpotential (32 mV) in 0.5 M H2SO4. Also, the 2% Pt-Mo2C catalyst demonstrated a high stability for the HER in 0.5 M H2SO4. This work highlights a feasible strategy to explore efficient electrocatalysts with low cost via engineering on the composition and nanostructure. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogen evolution reaction; nano-molybdenum-carbide; electro-catalysis; transition metal hydrogen evolution reaction; nano-molybdenum-carbide; electro-catalysis; transition metal

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, M.; Ma, Y.; Zhou, Y.; Liu, C.; Qin, Y.; Fang, Y.; Guan, G.; Li, X.; Zhang, Z.; Wang, T. Influence of Transition Metal on the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction over Nano-Molybdenum-Carbide Catalyst. Catalysts 2018, 8, 294.

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