Nano Research

Article Title

Targeted bottom-up synthesis of 1T-phase MoS2 arrays with high electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution activity by simultaneous structure and morphology engineering


molybdenum disulfide, bottom-up synthesis, morphology engineering, structure engineering, hydrogen evolution, density functional theory


ABSTRACT The incorporation of small guest molecules or ions by bottom-up hydrothermal synthesis has recently emerged as a promising new way to engineer 1T-phase MoS2 with high hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) activity. However, the mechanism of the associated structural evolution remains elusive and controversial, leading to a lack of effective routes to prepare 1T-phase MoS2 with controlled structure and morphology, along with high purity and stability. Herein, urea is chosen as precursor of small molecules or ions to simultaneously engineer the phase (~16.4%, ~69.4%, and ~90.2% of 1T phase) and size (~98.8, ~151.6, and ~251.8 nm for the 90.2% 1T phase) of MoS2 nanosheets, which represent an ideal model system for investigating the structural evolution in these materials, as well as developing a new type of 1T-phase MoS2 arrays. Using reaction intermediate monitoring and theoretical calculations, we show that the oriented growth of 1T-phase MoS2 is controlled by ammonia-assisted assembly, recrystallization, and stabilization processes. A superior HER performance in acidic media is obtained, with an overpotential of only 76 mV required to achieve a stable current density of 10 mA·cm–2 for 15 h. This excellent performance is attributed to the unique array structure, involving well-dispersed, edge-terminated, and high-purity 1T-phase MoS2 nanosheets.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press