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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Nov 27;135(47):17699-702. doi: 10.1021/ja4094764. Epub 2013 Nov 13.

Electrodeposited cobalt-sulfide catalyst for electrochemical and photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation from water.

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Departments of †Chemistry and ‡Molecular and Cell Biology and §the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California , Berkeley, California 94720, United States.


A cobalt-sulfide (Co-S) film prepared via electrochemical deposition on conductive substrates is shown to behave as an efficient and robust catalyst for electrochemical and photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation from neutral pH water. Electrochemical experiments demonstrate that the film exhibits a low catalytic onset overpotential (η) of 43 mV, a Tafel slope of 93 mV/dec, and near 100% Faradaic efficiency in pH 7 phosphate buffer. Catalytic current densities can approach 50 mA/cm(2) and activity is maintained for at least 40 h. The catalyst can also be electrochemically coated on silicon, rendering a water-compatible photoelectrochemical system for hydrogen production under simulated 1 sun illumination. The facile preparation of this Co-S film, along with its low overpotential, high activity, and long-term aqueous stability, offer promising features for potential use in solar energy applications.

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