Anodic fabrication of nanostructured CuxS and CuNiSx thin films and their hydrogen evolution activities in acidic electrolytes

This is the latest paper in Vishwanath’s collaboration with his former group in India. In this study, they describe a simple route for direct fabrication of nanostructured copper sulphide and hybrid copper–nickel sulphide thin film electrocatalysts by direct anodization of reactive metal electrodes in sulphide ion containing electrolytes.

This method is advantageous for the direct growth of highly ordered and large surface area hybrid nanostructures. XRD and XPS investigations confirm the presence of mixed-valent Cu and Ni ions as their sulphide thin films. These binary metal sulphides with mixed-valent metal ions could provide unsaturated surface sites for enhanced hydrogen evolution activity. The synergistic effect of porous electrodeposited Ni on the Cu surface and coordinatively unsaturated surface local sites on the hybrid metal sulphides further reduce the overpotential requirement and improve the acidic stability. 

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