Research Article


2013, 6(12): 921–928


WS2 nanoflakes from nanotubes for electrocatalysis

Charina L. Choi1, Ju Feng1, Yanguang Li1, Justin Wu1, Alla Zak2, Reshef Tenne3, and Hongjie Dai1 ()

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1 Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, California 94305, USA
2 Department of Science, Holon Academic Institute of Technology, Holon 58102, Israel
3 Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel

Keywords: KEYWORDS tungsten disulfide, nanotubes, nanostructuring, hydrogen evolution
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ABSTRACT Next-generation catalysts for water splitting are crucial towards a renewable hydrogen economy. MoS2 and WS2 represent earth-abundant, noble metal cathode alternatives with high catalytic activity at edge sites. One challenge in their development is to nanostructure these materials in order to achieve increased performance through the creation of additional edge sites. In this work, we demonstrate a simple route to form nanostructured-WS2 using sonochemical exfoliation to break interlayer and intralayer bonds in WS2 nanotubes. The resulting few-layer nanoflakes are ~100 nm wide with a high density of edge sites. WS2 nanoflakes are utilized as cathodes for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and exhibit superior performance to WS2 nanotubes and bulk particles, with a lower onset potential, shallower Tafel slope and increased current density. Future work may employ ultra-small nanoflakes, dopant atoms, or graphene hybrids to further improve electrocatalytic activity.
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WS2 nanoflakes from nanotubes for electrocatalysis. Nano Res. 2013, 6(12): 921–928

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