Synergistically boosting the elementary reactions over multiheterogeneous ordered macroporous Mo2C/NC-Ru for highly efficient alkaline hydrogen evolution

Kaixi Wang, Shuo Wang, Kwan San Hui, Haixing Gao, Duc Anh Dinh, Chengzong Yuan, Chenyang Zha, Zongping Shao, Zikang Tang, Kwun Nam Hui

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Simultaneously enhancing the reaction kinetics, mass transport, and gas release during alkaline hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is critical to minimizing the reaction polarization resistance, but remains a big challenge. Through rational design of a hierarchical multiheterogeneous three-dimensionally (3D) ordered macroporous Mo2C-embedded nitrogen-doped carbon with ultrafine Ru nanoclusters anchored on its surface (OMS Mo2C/NC-Ru), we realize both electronic and morphologic engineering of the catalyst to maximize the electrocatalysis performance. The formed Ru-NC heterostructure shows regulative electronic states and optimized adsorption energy with the intermediate H*, and the Mo2C-NC heterostructure accelerates the Volmer reaction due to the strong water dissociation ability as confirmed by theoretical calculations. Consequently, superior HER activity in alkaline solution with an extremely low overpotential of 15.5 mV at 10 mA cm−2 with the mass activity more than 17 times higher than that of the benchmark Pt/C, an ultrasmall Tafel slope of 22.7 mV dec−1, and excellent electrocatalytic durability were achieved, attributing to the enhanced mass transport and favorable gas release process endowed from the unique OMS Mo2C/NC-Ru structure. By oxidizing OMS Mo2C/NC-Ru into OMS MoO3-RuO2 catalyst, it can also be applied as efficient oxygen evolution electrocatalyst, enabling the construction of a quasi-symmetric electrolyzer for overall water splitting. Such a device's performance surpassed the state-of-the-art Pt/C || RuO2 electrolyzer. This study provides instructive guidance for designing 3D-ordered macroporous multicomponent catalysts for efficient catalytic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-866
JournalCarbon Energy
Issue number5
Early online date31 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2022


  • heterostructure
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • molybdenum carbide
  • ordered macroporous structure
  • ruthenium nanoparticle
  • synergistic effect

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