Activating basal-plane catalytic activity of two-dimensional MoS 2 monolayer with remote hydrogen plasma

Chia Chin Cheng, Ang Yu Lu*, Chien Chih Tseng, Xiulin Yang, Mohamed Nejib Hedhili, Min Cheng Chen, Kung-Hwa Wei, Lain Jong Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional layered transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) materials such as Molybdenum disufide (MoS 2 ) have been recognized as one of the low-cost and efficient electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). The crystal edges that account for a small percentage of the surface area, rather than the basal planes, of MoS 2 monolayer have been confirmed as their active catalytic sites. As a result, extensive efforts have been developing in activating the basal planes of MoS 2 for enhancing their HER activity. Here, we report a simple and efficient approach—using a remote hydrogen-plasma process—to creating S-vacancies on the basal plane of monolayer crystalline MoS 2 ; this process can generate high density of S-vacancies while mainly maintaining the morphology and structure of MoS 2 monolayer. The density of S-vacancies (defects) on MoS 2 monolayers resulted from the remote hydrogen-plasma process can be tuned and play a critical role in HER, as evidenced in the results of our spectroscopic and electrical measurements. The H 2 -plasma treated MoS 2 also provides an excellent platform for systematic and fundamental study of defect-property relationships in TMDs, which provides insights for future applications including electrical, optical and magnetic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-852
Number of pages7
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Catalysis
  • Electrolysis
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction
  • MoS
  • Transition metal dichalcogenides

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