Plasma tailoring in WTe2 nanosheets for efficiently boosting hydrogen evolution reaction

Xin Wang, Jun Wang, Bin Wei, Nan Zhang, Junyuan Xu, Hongwei Miao, Lifeng Liu, Chenliang Su, Ying Li, Zhongchang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


2D transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have been considered as promising non-precious electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, their limited active sites and poor electric conductivity pose a significant hurdle to their HER performance, resulting in a large overpotential. Here, we report the defect engineering in ultrathin tungsten telluride (WTe2) nanosheets with semimetal nature to improve hydrogen evolution effectively. We find that the oxygen plasma etching imposes a cutting effect on WTe2 nanosheets, resulting in a large number of tungsten vacancies. Particularly, the sample after plasma treatment for 10 min shows a feather-like structure with an overpotential of 251 mV at 10 mA/cm2 and a Tafel slope of 94 mV/dec, which is 4 times lower than the Tafel slope of pristine nanosheets. Further first-principles calculations shed light on the evolution of defect-rich WTe2 nanosheets and offer rational explanation to their superiority in efficient hydrogen evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-175
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Materials Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Defects
  • Electrocatalysts
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction
  • Plasma etching
  • WTe

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