Robust and stable electrodes made from earth-abundant materials have gained widespread interest in large-scale electrocatalytic water splitting toward hydrogen energy technologies. In this study, the vanadium disulfide (VS2)/amorphous carbon (AC) heterostructure was employed as an electrode for direct seawater splitting. Two-dimensional VS2 nanoparticles were deposited on AC with a high degree of uniformity via a well-optimized one-step chemical vapor deposition approach. The VS2/AC heterostructure electrode was found to possess rich active sulfur sites, near-zero Gibbs free energy, a large surface area, and exceptional charge transfer toward the electrolyte, resulting in enhanced hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) performance with a low onset potential and low overpotential of 11 and 61 mV (vs reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE)), respectively. The electrode also sustained robust stability throughout the 50 h of chronoamperometry studies under acidic electrolyte conditions. Interestingly, the VS2/AC electrocatalyst accomplished an exceptional HER performance under natural seawater conditions in the absence of an external electrolyte with an onset potential of 56 mV vs RHE and attained η200 at an overpotential of 0.53 V vs RHE. In spite of this, the heterostructure exhibited superior stability over 21 days at a high current density of 250 mA/cm2 under both indoor and solar-powered outdoor conditions. Overall, this VS2/AC heterostructure may open a new pathway toward direct seawater splitting for long-term, stable, large-scale hydrogen generation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Environmental Chemistry
- Chemical Engineering(all)