Defect Engineered Single-Layer MoS2 Dendrites as an Efficient Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction

W. Xu, S. Li, M. Pasta, J.H. Warner
University of Oxford,
United Kingdom

Keywords: catalyst, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), monolayer dendrites, MoS2


The edge sites of MoS2 are catalytically active for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), and growing monolayer structures that are edge-rich is desirable. Here, we show the production of large-area highly branched MoS2 dendrites on amorphous SiO2/Si substrates using an atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition and explore their use in electrocatalysis. By tailoring the substrate construction, the monolayer MoS2 evolves from triangular to dendritic morphology because of the change of growth conditions. The rough edges endow dendritic MoS2 with a fractal dimension down to 1.54. The highly crystalline basal plane and the edge of the dendrites are visualized at atomic resolution using an annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscope. The monolayer dendrites exhibit strong photoluminescence, which is indicative of the direct band gap emission, which is preserved after being transferred. Post-transfer sulfur annealing restores the structural defects and decreases the n-type doping in MoS2 monolayers. The annealed MoS2 dendrites show good and highly durable HER performance on the glassy carbon with a large exchange current density of 32 μA cmgeo–2, demonstrating its viability as an efficient HER catalyst.