Strongly enhanced visible light photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction in n-doped MoS2 /TiO2(B) heterojunction by selective decoration of platinum nanoparticles at the MoS2 edge sites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Kamal Kumar Paul
  • Sreekanth Narayanaru
  • Daniel Escalera López
  • Anku Guha
  • Narayanan Tharangattu Narayanan
  • P K Giri

Colleges, School and Institutes


Herein, we demonstrate strongly enhanced visible light photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in few-layer MoS2 grown on a mesoporous TiO2(B) nanobelt (NB) by selective decoration of platinum (Pt) nanoparticles (NPs) on the edge/defect sites of the MoS2 layer. Three catalytically active components are anchored together to increase the photoelectrocatalytic HER activity synergistically, beyond that of commercial Pt/C electrodes (20 wt% Pt). An extremely low concentration of Pt NPs (1.4 wt%) with average size ~3.8 nm, were decorated over the preferentially edge-site-exposed few-layer MoS2, with lateral sizes 130-350 nm, as evidenced from the high-angle annular dark-field STEM imaging. During the heterojunction formation, S is doped in the TiO2 layer causing the high density of electrons in TiO2 that migrate to the MoS2 layer inducing n-type doping in it and thus TiO2 acts as an efficient photocathode in the photoelectrocatalysis. Quantitative XPS analysis reveals that the catalytically active bridging S22−/apical S2− increases up to ~72% after the formation of the ternary system (Pt@MoS2/TiO2(B). S-enriched MoS2/TiO2(B) selectively loaded with Pt NPs on the edge sites of MoS2 exhibits a giant enhancement in the HER activity in an acidic medium under the light. We record nearly 16 fold higher exchange current density (0.296 mA/cm2) for the ternary system as compared to the MoS2/TiO2 binary system under visible light excitation. The marginal Pt loaded ternary system exhibits an extremely low charge transfer resistance (14) and low overpotential as well as Tafel slope (-74 mV and 30 mV dec-1, respectively) boosting the overall HER performance under the visible light. Chronopotentiometric measurements reveal the high stability of binary and ternary system to sustain a 10 mA/cm2 cathodic current up to 12 hours. The results show that the marginallyloaded Pt NPs activate the inert basal plane, edge sites of MoS2 and porous sites of TiO2, making an integrated network where the photogenerated electrons can easily be injected from the TiO2 to MoS2 and then to Pt NPs, presenting a feasible approach to boost the HER activity under visible light.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Early online date10 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Oct 2018


  • Pt@MoS2/TiO2 heterostructure, Edge controlled MoS2, n-type doped MoS2, Photoelectrocatalysis, Hydrogen evolution reaction