Coupling Mo2C with Nitrogen-Rich Nanocarbon Leads to Efficient Hydrogen-Evolution Electrocatalytic Sites

Yipu Liu, Guangtao Yu, Guo Dong Li, Yuanhui Sun, Tewodros Asefa, Wei Chen, Xiaoxin Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

513 Citations (Scopus)


In our efforts to obtain electrocatalysts with improved activity for water splitting, meticulous design and synthesis of the active sites of the electrocatalysts and deciphering how exactly they catalyze the reaction are vitally necessary. Herein, we report a one-step facile synthesis of a novel precious-metal-free hydrogen-evolution nanoelectrocatalyst, dubbed Mo2C@NC that is composed of ultrasmall molybdenum carbide (Mo2C) nanoparticles embedded within nitrogen-rich carbon (NC) nanolayers. The Mo2C@NC hybrid nanoelectrocatalyst shows remarkable catalytic activity, has great durability, and gives about 100% Faradaic yield toward the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) over a wide pH range (pH 0-14). Theoretical calculations show that the Mo2C and N dopants in the material synergistically co-activate adjacent C atoms on the carbon nanolayers, creating superactive nonmetallic catalytic sites for HER that are more active than those in the constituents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10752-10757
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015


  • catalytically active site
  • composite material
  • electrocatalysis
  • molybdenum carbide
  • water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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