Cactus-Like Hollow Cu S@Ru Nanoplates as Excellent and Robust Electrocatalysts for the Alkaline Hydrogen Evolution Reaction.

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Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany), ISSN: 1613-6829, Vol: 13, Issue: 29

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Yoon, Donghwan; Lee, Jaeyoung; Seo, Bora; Kim, Byeongyoon; Baik, Hionsuck; Joo, Sang Hoon; Lee, Kwangyeol
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Materials Science; Chemistry
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The development of Pt-free electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) recently is a focus of great interest. While several strategies are developed to control the structural properties of non-Pt catalysts and boost their electrocatalytic activities for the HER, the generation of highly reactive defects or interfaces by combining a metal with other metals, or with metal oxides/sulfides, can lead to notably enhanced catalytic performance. Herein, the preparation of cactus-like hollow Cu S@Ru nanoplates (NPs) that contain metal/metal sulfide heterojunctions and show excellent catalytic activity and durability for the HER in alkaline media is reported. The initial formation of Ru islands on presynthesized Cu S NPs, via cation exchange between three Cu ions and one Ru , induces the growth of the Ru phase, which is concomitant with the dissolution of the Cu S nanotemplate, culminating in the formation of a hollow nanostructure with numerous thin Ru pillars. Hollow Cu S@Ru NPs exhibit a small overpotential of 82 mV at a current density of -10 mA cm and a low Tafel slope of 48 mV dec under alkaline conditions; this catalyst is among state-of-the-art HER electrocatalysts in alkaline media. The excellent performance of hollow Cu S@Ru NPs originates from the facile dissociation of water in the Volmer step.