Amorphizing noble metal chalcogenide catalysts at the single-layer limit towards hydrogen production
Yongmin He, Liren Liu, Chao Zhu, Shasha Guo, Prafful Golani, Bonhyeong Koo, Pengyi Tang, Zhiqiang Zhao, Manzhang Xu, Chao Zhu, Peng Yu, Xin Zhou, Caitian Gao, Xuewen Wang, Zude Shi, Lu Zheng, Jiefu Yang, Byungha Shin, Jordi Arbiol, Huigao Duan, Yonghua Du, Marc Heggen, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski, Wanlin Guo, Qi Jie Wang, Zhuhua Zhang & Zheng Liu
Rational design of noble metal catalysts with the potential to leverage efficiency is vital for industrial applications. Such an ultimate atom-utilization efficiency can be achieved when all noble metal atoms exclusively contribute to catalysis. Here, we demonstrate the fabrication of a wafer-size amorphous PtSex film on a SiO2 substate via a low-temperature amorphization strategy, which offers single-atom-layer Pt catalysts with high atom-utilization efficiency (~26 wt%). This amorphous PtSex (1.2 < x < 1.3) behaves as a fully activated surface, accessible to catalytic reactions, and features a nearly 100% current density relative to a pure Pt surface and reliable production of sustained high-flux hydrogen over a 2 inch wafer as a proof-of-concept. Furthermore, an electrolyser is demonstrated to generate a high current density of 1,000 mA cm−2. Such an amorphization strategy is potentially extendable to other noble metals, including the Pd, Ir, Os, Rh and Ru elements, demonstrating the universality of single-atom-layer catalysts.