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Nature Publishing Group

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Nature Communications

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1T-MoS2 and single-atom modified analogues represent a highly promising class of low-cost catalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, the role of single atoms, either as active species or promoters, remains vague despite its essentiality toward more efficient HER. In this work, we report the unambiguous identification of Ni single atom as key active sites in the basal plane of 1T-MoS2 (Ni@1T-MoS2) that result in efficient HER performance. The intermediate structure of this Ni active site under catalytic conditions was captured by in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy, where a reversible metallic Ni species (Ni0) is observed in alkaline conditions whereas Ni remains in its local structure under acidic conditions. These insights provide crucial mechanistic understanding of Ni@1T-MoS2 HER electrocatalysts and suggest that the understanding gained from such in situ studies is necessary toward the development of highly efficient single-atom decorated 1T-MoS2 electrocatalysts.


Published version. Nature Communications, Vol. 11, (2020): 4114. DOI. © 2020 Nature Publishing Group (Macmillan Publishers Limited). Used with permission.

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