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Surfactant-exfoliated 2D molybdenum disulphide (2D-MoS2): the role of surfactant upon the hydrogen evolution reaction

De-Mello, GB and Smith, L and Rowley-Neale, SJ and Gruber, J and Hutton, SJ and Banks, CE (2017) Surfactant-exfoliated 2D molybdenum disulphide (2D-MoS2): the role of surfactant upon the hydrogen evolution reaction. RSC Advances, 7 (58). pp. 36208-36213. ISSN 2046-2069

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Abstract

© 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Surfactant (sodium cholate, SC) mediated liquid (aqueous) phase exfoliation is a common approach to fabricate 2D molybdenum disulphide (2D-MoS 2 -SC) nanosheets since it is a facile methodology producing defect free flakes with nanometer lateral sizes. The electrocatalytic behaviour of 2D-MoS 2 -SC towards the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER) is benchmarked within acidic media and found to exhibit inferior HER activity to an equivalent mass of pristine 2D-MoS 2 (2D-MoS 2 produced without a surfactant), with HER onset potentials, current densities and Tafel values of -0.61 V (vs. SCE), -2.19 mA cm -2 , 141 mV dec -1 and -0.42 V (vs. SCE), -4.96 mA cm -2 , 94 mV dec -1 respectively. This work demonstrates that sodium cholate has a detrimental effect upon the HER activity of 2D-MoS 2 . Future studies that utilise 2D materials, fabricated via liquid surfactant exfoliation, should consider the role of the surfactant in the observed electrochemical responses and perform the necessary control experiments.

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