Identifying the electrocatalytic sites of nickel disulfide in alkaline hydrogen evolution reaction

Qiuyu Ma, Chengyi Hu, Kunlong Liu, Sung Fu Hung, Daohui Ou, Hao Ming Chen*, Gang Fu, Nanfeng Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Transition-metal chalcogenides have attracted great attention for their superior catalytic activity towards hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) as an alternative to platinum. Here we report a facile method for synthesizing two-dimensional nickel disulfide (NiS2) by using Ni(OH)2 on nickel foam as substrate. The as-synthesized NiS2 displayed an activation period during HER with a remarkable structural and compositional change under alkaline conditions. Electrochemical in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy revealed that metallic Ni acted as catalytic active species with superior activity of 67 mV to reach 10 mA cm−2. The in situ generated metallic Ni were easily oxidized to large-area ultrathin Ni(OH)2 when exposed to air. The overall water splitting device was fabricated by using NiS2-derived metallic Ni and Fe doped NiS2-derived hydroxide as HER and OER electrode with a potential of 1.52 V to reach 10 mA cm−2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • 2D material
  • Electrocatalysis
  • Electrocatalytic site
  • HER
  • Metal chalcogenides
  • Nickel disulfide


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