Nano Research

, Volume 6, Issue 12, pp 921–928

WS2 nanoflakes from nanotubes for electrocatalysis


  • Charina L. Choi
    • Department of ChemistryStanford University
  • Ju Feng
    • Department of ChemistryStanford University
  • Yanguang Li
    • Department of ChemistryStanford University
  • Justin Wu
    • Department of ChemistryStanford University
  • Alla Zak
    • Department of ScienceHolon Academic Institute of Technology
  • Reshef Tenne
    • Department of Materials and InterfacesWeizmann Institute
    • Department of ChemistryStanford University
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12274-013-0369-8

Cite this article as:
Choi, C.L., Feng, J., Li, Y. et al. Nano Res. (2013) 6: 921. doi:10.1007/s12274-013-0369-8


Next-generation catalysts for water splitting are crucial towards a renewable hydrogen economy. MoS2 and WS2 represent earth-abundant, noble metal cathode alternatives with high catalytic activity at edge sites. One challenge in their development is to nanostructure these materials in order to achieve increased performance through the creation of additional edge sites. In this work, we demonstrate a simple route to form nanostructured-WS2 using sonochemical exfoliation to break interlayer and intralayer bonds in WS2 nanotubes. The resulting few-layer nanoflakes are ∼100 nm wide with a high density of edge sites. WS2 nanoflakes are utilized as cathodes for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and exhibit superior performance to WS2 nanotubes and bulk particles, with a lower onset potential, shallower Tafel slope and increased current density. Future work may employ ultra-small nanoflakes, dopant atoms, or graphene hybrids to further improve electrocatalytic activity.


tungsten disulfidenanotubesnanostructuringhydrogen evolution

Supplementary material

12274_2013_369_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1006 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 825 KB.

Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013