Enhanced performance of in-plane transition metal dichalcogenides monolayers by configuring local atomic structures

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  • Published: 2020-05-11
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The intrinsic activity of in-plane chalcogen atoms plays a significant role in the catalytic performance of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). A rational modulation of the local configurations is essential to activating the in-plane chalcogen atoms but restricted by the high energy barrier to break the in-plane TM-X (X=chalcogen) bonds.

A research team led by Dr. LIU Jianjun at Shanghai Institute of Ceramics of Chinese Academy of Sciences cooperated with Prof. FAN Hongjin’s research team at Nanyang Technological University, theoretically designed and experimentally realized the tuning of local configurations. The electron transfer capacity of local configurations is used to screen suitable TMDs materials for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Among various configurations, the triangular-shape cobalt atom cluster with a central sulfur vacancy (3CoMo-VS) renders the distinct electrocatalytic performance of MoS2 with much reduced overpotential and Tafel slope. The present study sheds light on deeper understanding of atomic-scale local configuration in TMDs and a methodology to boost the intrinsic activity of chalcogen atoms. This work was published in Nature Communications.