Structure and electrochemical property of amorphous molybdenum selenide H2-evolving catalysts prepared by a solvothermal synthesis

Chuc T. Nguyen, Tuan M. Duong, Mai Nguyen, Quyen T. Nguyen, Anh D. Nguyen, Ung Thi Dieu Thuy, Quang Duc Truong, Tung T. Nguyen, Quang Liem Nguyen, Phong D. Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Amorphous molybdenum selenide nanoparticles were synthesized by the solvothermal treatment of Mo(CO)6 and Se in dimethylformamide. By varying the Mo(CO)6 over Se molar ratio, we obtained a family of MoSe nanoparticles having comparable morphology but different chemical composition. Using a combination of experimental analyses (e.g. XRD, ICP-MS, Raman, XPS)and DFT theoretical calculation, we found that the structure of MoSe was close to that of the amorphous molybdenum sulfide analogous but not that of MoSe2 layers. The MoSe was found to consist of [Mo3Se13]2- cluster within its structure together with some structural defects. Thanks to its less ordered structure, the MoSe can be activated by several chemical and electrochemical treatment resulting in a catalytic enhancement. A treatment with fuming HCl resulted in generation of a novel catalyst displaying 1.4 time higher catalytic current. Remarkably, a treatment with reflux NaOH solution resulted in generation of a component being soluble in water and displaying catalytic H2-evolving activity at a moderate onset overpotential of ca. 200 mV, being one of the most attractives homogeneous catalysts in water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13273-13283
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 21


  • Catalysis
  • Chalcogenide
  • Hydrogen
  • Molybdenum selenide
  • Water electrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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