Unconventional pore and defect generation in molybdenum disulfide: application in high-rate lithium-ion batteries and the hydrogen evolution reaction.

PMID 25066369


A 2H-MoS2 (H=hexagonal) ultrathin nanomesh with high defect generation and large porosity is demonstrated to improving electrochemical performance, including in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), with the aid of a 3D reduced graphene oxide (RGO) scaffold as fast electron and ion channels. The 3D defect-rich MoS2 nanomesh/RGO foam (Dr-MoS2 Nm/RGO) can be easily obtained through a one-pot cobalt acetate/graphene oxide (GO) co-assisted hydrothermal reaction, in which GO, cobalt and acetate ions are co-morphology-controlling agents and defect inducers. As an anode material for LIBs, Dr-MoS2 Nm/RGO has only a 9% capacity decay at a 10 C discharge rate versus 0.2 C with stable cyclability at the optimized composition (5 wt% RGO to MoS2 and 2 mol% Co to Mo), and significantly achieves 810 mA h g(-1) at a high current density of 9.46 A g(-1) over at least 150 cycles. Moreover, Dr-MoS2 Nm/RGO exhibits superior activity for the HER with an overpotential as low as 80 mV and a Tafel slope of about 36 mV per decade. In contrast to the MoS2 nanosheet/RGO (MoS2 Ns/RGO), which is synthesized in the absence of cobalt ions, Dr-MoS2 Nm/RGO provides high interconnectivity for efficient lithium-ion transport, and rich defects as electrochemically active sites. DFT is used to prove the existence of rich defects due to anion replacement to become a Co-Mo-S atomic structure, releasing inert basal planes to active sites.