Pulsed laser deposition and characterization of nanostructured thin films based on Mo(Ni)Se x and amorphous carbon phase as electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction
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Thin films of Mo(Ni)Se x are synthesized using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) in a special mode of operation in which the laser ablation of a Mo(Ni)Se2 target releases a mixed deposition flux consisting of atomic Mo, Ni, and Se and Mo droplets. The size of deposited Mo particles is in the range of 20–100 nm. Incorporation of amorphous carbon phase (a-C) in some Mo(Ni)Se x films is achieved by using a graphite target along with a Mo(Ni)Se2 one and depositing the ablation plume of the former. The films are deposited on graphite and glassy carbon substrates and some are subjected to thermal treatment at 550°C. Electrochemical testing for catalytic activity toward hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and characterization of the structures are performed for both thermally processed and unprocessed samples. Annealing is shown to cause the formation of structures with the inclusion of ultrafine sheetlike MoSe2 crystals. Incorporation of carbon in the films suppresses the growth of the nanosheets during annealing. However, enhancement of HER in an acidic solution is also observed for samples with quite minor amounts of the nanosheets, which can be attributed to peculiarities of structurization of Mo(Ni)Se x and Mo(Ni)Se x /a-C layers obtained by PLD.
Keywordslayered nanostructure hydrogen evolution reaction pulsed laser deposition catalysts
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