Nanoscale Double-Heterojunctional Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution

Adv Sci (Weinh). 2022 Jun;9(18):e2201339. doi: 10.1002/advs.202201339. Epub 2022 Apr 24.


The active sites and charge/mass transfer properties in electrocatalysts play vital roles in kinetics and thermodynamics of electrocatalysis, and impose direct impacts on electrocatalytic performance, which cannot be achieved by a simplex structure. As a prototype, the authors propose a double-heterojunctional nanostructure of NiS2 /Ni3 C@C containing NiS2 /Ni3 C and Ni3 C/C heterojunctions as a general model to optimize the above issues and boost electrocatalytic performance. During the thermal reorganization, the in situ reaction between NiS2 nanoparticles and carbon induces the formation of Ni3 C between them and constructs tightly contacted two kinds of interfaces among the three components. The TEM and XPS reveal the intimately contacted three components and the as-constructed interacted dual interfaces, further confirming the formation of a porous double-heterojunctional nanostructure. Theoretical calculations uncover that the electron density redistribution occurs at Ni3 C/C interface by spontaneous electron transfer from defected carbon to Ni3 C and lower ΔGH* achieves at NiS2 /Ni3 C interface by the concentrated interfacial charge density, which favors the simultaneous realization of high catalytic activity and rapid charge/mass transfer. When applied for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), the porous double-heterojunctional NiS2 /Ni3 C@C exhibits excellent HER activity and durability among all pH values. Profoundly, this special double-heterojunctional structure can provide a new model for high-performance electrocatalysts and beyond.

Keywords: active sites; double-heterojunction; electrocatalysts; electron transfer; hydrogen evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbon
  • Catalysis
  • Hydrogen* / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Porosity


  • Carbon
  • Hydrogen