Engineering of Molybdenum Sulfide Nanobunches on MWCNTs: Modulation of Active Sites and Electronic Conductivity via Controllable Solvothermal Deposition

Aya Ali, Mustafa Basuni, Reham Shams-Eldin, Lena Pilz, Tawheed Hashem, Marita Heinle, Alexei Nefedov, Muhamed Amin, Manuel Tsotsalas, Goran Drazic, Abdou Hassanien*, Mohamed H. Alkordi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Amorphous, mixed-valency, molybdenum sulfide (MoSx) with a proposed formula, [Mo(IV)4Mo(V)2(S22-)3(S2-)5](SO4)5, was grown through a one-pot, solvothermal synthesis on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in a gram-scale setup. Optimizing the loading of the active catalyst relative to the conductive support resulted in optimized catalytic performance in hydrogen evolution reaction, reaching down to one of the lowest reported overpotentials, η10 = 140 mV and η100 = 198 mV with a Tafel slope of 62 mV/dec, for the 6.5 wt % of MoSx@MWCNTs. Engineering this amorphous MoSx catalyst was made possible through control of the oxidation state of Mo to avoid the fully reduced MoS2 phases. We also demonstrate that engineering defects in the MoSx catalyst does not require sophisticated techniques (e.g., UHV deposition, ion beam sputtering, and pulsed laser ablation) but can rather be induced simply through controlling the reductive synthesis conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3627–3636
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number5
Early online date16-Feb-2023
Publication statusPublished - 10-Mar-2023


  • amorphous MoS
  • mixed-valency molybdenum catalyst
  • molybdenum sulfide deposition on MWCNTs
  • molybdenum sulfide HER
  • supported nanocatalyst

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