Single platinum atoms immobilized on an MXene as an efficient catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction

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Journal Article
Nature Catalysis, 2018, 1 (12), pp. 985 - 992
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© 2018, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. Single-atom catalysts offer a pathway to cost-efficient catalysis using the minimal amount of precious metals. However, preparing and keeping them stable during operation remains a challenge. Here we report the synthesis of double transition metal MXene nanosheets—Mo 2 TiC 2 T x , with abundant exposed basal planes and Mo vacancies in the outer layers—by electrochemical exfoliation, enabled by the interaction between protons and the surface functional groups of Mo 2 TiC 2 T x . The as-formed Mo vacancies are used to immobilize single Pt atoms, enhancing the MXene’s catalytic activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction. The developed catalyst exhibits a high catalytic ability with low overpotentials of 30 and 77 mV to achieve 10 and 100 mA cm −2 and a mass activity about 40 times greater than the commercial platinum-on-carbon catalyst. The strong covalent interactions between positively charged Pt single atoms and the MXene contribute to the exceptional catalytic performance and stability.
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