High Performance Nanostructured MoS2 Electrodes with Spontaneous Ultra-Low Gold Loading for Hydrogen Evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Athanasios Papaderakis
  • Conor Byrne
  • Rongsheng Cai
  • Amr Ahmed Sadek


The scarcity and cost of noble metals used in commercial electrolyzers limit the sustainability and scalability of water electrolysis for green hydrogen production. Herein, we report the ultralow loading of Au nanoparticles onto MoS2 electrodes by the spontaneous process of galvanic deposition. AuNP@MoS2 electrode synthesis was optimized, and electrodes containing the smallest Au nanoparticle diameter (2.9 nm) and the lowest Au loading (0.044 μg cm–2) exhibited the best overall and intrinsic electrocatalytic performance. This enhancement is attributed to an increased Au–MoS2 interaction with smaller nanoparticles, making the MoS2 electrode more n-type. DC electrochemical characterization for the AuNP@MoS2 electrodes showed an exchange current density of 7.28 μA cm–2 and an overpotential at 10 mA cm–2 of −323 mV. These values are 4.5 times higher and 100 mV lower than those of the unmodified MoS2 electrode, respectively. Electrochemical AC experiments were used to evaluate the electrodes’ intrinsic catalytic activity, and it was shown that the AuNP@MoS2 electrodes exhibited an enhanced activity by as much as 3.5 times compared with MoS2. Additionally, the turnover frequency as estimated by the reciprocal of the RctCdl product, the latter calculated from the AC data, is estimated to be 58.8 s–1 and is among one of the highest reported for composite MoS2 materials.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry Part C: Nanomaterials, Interfaces and Hard Matter
Early online date15 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2021