Manganese Doping of MoSe2 Promotes Active Defect Sites for Hydrogen Evolution

Vasu Kuraganti, Akash Jain, Ronen Bar-Ziv, Ashwin Ramasubramaniam, Maya Bar-Sadan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are being widely pursued as inexpensive, earth-abundant substitutes for precious-metal catalysts in technologically important reactions such as electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, the relatively high onset potentials of TMDs relative to Pt remain a persistent challenge in widespread adoption of these materials. Here, we demonstrate a one-pot synthesis approach for substitutional Mn-doping of MoSe2 nanoflowers to achieve appreciable reduction in the overpotential for HER along with a substantial improvement in the charge-transfer kinetics. Electron microscopy and elemental characterization of our samples show that the MoSe2 nanoflowers retain their structural integrity without any evidence for dopant clustering, thus confirming true substitutional doping of the catalyst. Complementary density functional theory calculations reveal that the substitutional Mn-dopants act as promoters, rather than enhanced active sites, for the formation of Se-vacancies in MoSe2 that are known to be catalytically active for HER. Our work advances possible strategies for activating MoSe2 and similar TMDs by the use of substitutional dopants, not for their inherent activity, but as promoters of active chalcogen vacancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25155-25162
Number of pages8
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number28
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2019


  • 2D materials
  • catalysis
  • density functional theory
  • electrocatalysis
  • transition-metal dichalcogenides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)


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