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Tuning the hydrogen evolution activity of beta phase Mo2C nanoparticles via control of their growth conditions

Yang, Timothy (2017) Tuning the hydrogen evolution activity of beta phase Mo2C nanoparticles via control of their growth conditions. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The use of water electrocatalysis for hydrogen production is a promising, sustainable, and greenhouse-gas-free process to develop disruptive renewable energy technologies. Transition metal carbides, the β-phase Mo2C, are garnering increased attention as hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts due to their favourable synthesis conditions, stability, and high catalytic efficiency. We use a thermodynamic approach in conjunction with density functional theory and a kinetic model of exchange current density to systematically study the HER activity of β-Mo2C under different experimental conditions. We show that the (011) surface has the highest HER activity, which is rationalized by its lack of strong Mo-based hydrogen adsorption sites. Thus, the HER efficiency of β-Mo2C can be tuned using nanoparticles (NPs) that expose larger fractions of this termination. We give definite maps between NP morphologies and experimental synthesis conditions, and show that the control of carbon chemical potential during synthesis can expose up to 90% of (011) surface, while as H2 ambient has little effect on NPs morphology. The volcano plot shows that under these optimum conditions, the NP exchange current density is ~10-5 A/cm2, that is only slightly smaller than that of Pt (111).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Yang, Timothytimothy055050@gmail.comtty20000000257850511
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberLee, Jung-Kunjul37@pitt.edujul37
Committee MemberWang, Guofengguw8@pitt.eduguw8
Thesis AdvisorSaidi, Wissamalsaidi@pitt.edualsaidi
Date: 14 June 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2017
Approval Date: 14 June 2017
Submission Date: 5 April 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 76
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Materials Science and Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: hydrogen evolution reaction, hydrogen production, molybdenum carbide, renewable energy
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2017 13:50
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2017 13:50


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