Highly Active, Nonprecious Electrocatalyst Comprising Borophene Subunits for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction

Yanli Chen, Guangtao Yu, Wei Chen, Yipu Liu, Guo Dong Li, Pinwen Zhu, Qiang Tao, Qiuju Li, Jingwei Liu, Xiaopeng Shen, Hui Li, Xuri Huang, Dejun Wang, Tewodros Asefa, Xiaoxin Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


Developing nonprecious hydrogen evolution electrocatalysts that can work well at large current densities (e.g., at 1000 mA/cm2: a value that is relevant for practical, large-scale applications) is of great importance for realizing a viable water-splitting technology. Herein we present a combined theoretical and experimental study that leads to the identification of α-phase molybdenum diboride (α-MoB2) comprising borophene subunits as a noble metal-free, superefficient electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Our theoretical finding indicates, unlike the surfaces of Pt- and MoS2-based catalysts, those of α-MoB2 can maintain high catalytic activity for HER even at very high hydrogen coverage and attain a high density of efficient catalytic active sites. Experiments confirm α-MoB2 can deliver large current densities in the order of 1000 mA/cm2, and also has excellent catalytic stability during HER. The theoretical and experimental results show α-MoB2's catalytic activity, especially at large current densities, is due to its high conductivity, large density of efficient catalytic active sites and good mass transport property.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12370-12373
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Sep 13 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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