MoS2 Polymorphic Engineering Enhances Selectivity in the Electrochemical Reduction of Nitrogen to Ammonia

Bryan H.R. Suryanto, Dabin Wang, Luis Miguel Azofra, Moussab Harb, Luigi Cavallo, Rouhollah Jalili, David R.G. Mitchell, Manjunath Chatti, Douglas R. MacFarlane

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The electrochemical N 2 reduction reaction (NRR) offers a direct pathway to produce NH 3 from renewable energy. However, aqueous NRR suffers from both low Faradaic efficiency (FE) and low yield rate. The main reason is the more favored H + reduction to H 2 in aqueous electrolytes. Here we demonstrate a highly selective Ru/MoS 2 NRR catalyst on which the MoS 2 polymorphs can be controlled to suppress H + reduction. A NRR FE as high as 17.6% and NH 3 yield rate of 1.14 × 10 -10 mol cm -2 s -1 are demonstrated at 50 °C. Theoretical evidence supports a hypothesis that the high NRR activity originates from the synergistic interplay between the Ru clusters as N 2 binding sites and nearby isolated S-vacancies on the 2H-MoS 2 as centers for hydrogenation; this supports formation of NH 3 at the Ru/2H-MoS 2 interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-435
Number of pages6
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2019

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