Research Article

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-021-3873-2

Phosphorus incorporation activates the basal plane of tungsten disulfide for efficient hydrogen evolution catalysis

Fan Wang1,§, Shuwen Niu2,§, Xinqi Liang1, Gongming Wang2 (✉), and Minghua Chen1 (✉)

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1 Key Laboratory of Engineering Dielectric and Applications (Ministry of Education), Harbin University of Science and Technology, Harbin 150080, China
2 Department of Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
§ Fan Wang and Shuwen Niu contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: tungsten disulfide, electronic structure modulator, orbital orientation, density of states redistribution, hydrogen evolution reaction
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  • Abstract
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The basal planes of transition metal dichalcogenides are basically inert for catalysis due to the absence of adsorption and activation sites, which substantially limit their catalytic application. Herein, a facile strategy to activate the basal plane of WS2 for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysis by phosphorous-induced electron density modulation is demonstrated. The optimized P doped WS2 (P-WS2) nanowires arrays deliver a low overpotential of 88 mV at 10 mA·cm−2 with a Tafel slope of 62 mV·dec−1 for HER, which is substantially better than the pristine counterpart. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirms the surface electron densities of WS2 have been availably manipulated by P doping. Moreover, density functional theory (DFT) studies further prove P doping can redistribute the density of states (DOS) around EF, which endow the inert basal plane of PWS2 with edge-like catalytic activity toward hydrogen evolution catalysis. Our work offers a facile and effective approach to modulate the catalytic surface of WS2 toward highly efficient HER catalysis.
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Phosphorus incorporation activates the basal plane of tungsten disulfide for efficient hydrogen evolution catalysis. Nano Res. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-021-3873-2

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