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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Sep 26;10(38):32171-32179. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b10502. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Scalable Synthesis of a Ruthenium-Based Electrocatalyst as a Promising Alternative to Pt for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction.

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School of Materials Science and Engineering , Harbin Institute of Technology , Harbin 150001 , China.
Department of Physics , Soochow University , Suzhou 215006 , China.
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering , South China University of Technology , Guangzhou 510006 , China.


Designing highly active, stable, and cost-efficient electrocatalysts as alternatives to replace Pt is extremely desirable for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Despite much progress that has been made based on complete nonprecious metals (NPMs), very few NPM catalysts have shown comparable performance to Pt-based catalysts. Herein, a cost-efficient, environmentally friendly, and scalable method to synthesize a novel ruthenium(Ru)-doped transition-metal carbide (Mo2C) hybrid catalyst was proposed. The hybrid nanoparticles were uniformly distributed and strongly embedded in a biomass-derived highly porous N-doped carbon framework. In particular, Mo2C@Ru exhibited a Pt-like remarkable electrocatalytic performance for HER, and it only required an extremely low overpotential of 24.6 mV to reach the current density of 10 mA cm-2. Furthermore, our density functional theory calculations indicated that the nanocomposite exhibits improved metal-hydrogen binding and favorable hydrogen adsorption energy, which is comparable to that of Pt. The facile and scalable synthesis methodology, the relatively low cost, and the excellent electrochemical HER performance comparable to that of commercial Pt/C suggest that the Mo2C@Ru electrocatalyst is a promising alternative to Pt for large-scale hydrogen production.


Mo2C; Ru; electrocatalyst; hydrogen evolution reaction; popcorn


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