Leily Majidi, Poya Yasaei, Robert E. Warburton, Shadi Fuladi, John Cavin, Xuan Hu, Zahra Hemmat, Sung Beom Cho, Pedram Abbasi, Márton Vörös, Lei Cheng, Baharak Sayahpour, Igor L. Bolotin, Peter Zapol, Jeffrey Greeley, Robert F. Klie, Rohan Mishra, Fatemeh Khalili‐Araghi, Larry A. Curtiss, Amin Salehi‐Khojin Advanced Materials 2018
The optimization of traditional electrocatalysts has reached a point where progress is impeded by fundamental physical factors including inherent scaling relations among thermokinetic characteristics of different elementary reaction steps, non‐Nernstian behavior, and electronic structure of the catalyst. This indicates that the currently utilized classes of electrocatalysts may not be adequate for future needs. This study reports on synthesis and characterization of a new class of materials based on 2D transition metal dichalcogenides including sulfides, selenides, and tellurides of group V and VI transition metals that exhibit excellent catalytic performance for both oxygen reduction and evolution reactions in an aprotic medium with Li salts. The reaction rates are much higher for these materials than previously reported catalysts for these reactions. The reasons for the high activity are found to be the metal edges with adiabatic electron transfer capability and a cocatalyst effect involving an ionic‐liquid electrolyte. These new materials are expected to have high activity for other core electrocatalytic reactions and open the way for advances in energy storage and catalysis.