Hierarchical Ni-MoSex@CoSe2 core-shell nanosphere as highly active bifunctional catalyst for efficient dye-sensitized solar cell and alkaline hydrogen evolution

Hongyu Liu, Xing Qian, Yudi Niu, Ming Chen, Chong Xu, Kwok Yin Wong (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Core-shell structured nanocomposites based on transition metal selenides have a broad development prospect as Pt-free electrocatalyst in energy conversion due to large surface area, rich edge sites, as well as synergistic interactions between the core and shell. Herein, the preparation of core-shell structured transition metal selenides nanospheres was achieved through a facile wrapping process using zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF-67) as the cobalt source, which assembled on glycerol precursor nanospheres. After a selenization treatment, this formed core-shell structure had a Ni-MoSex inner core, supporting the CoSe2 outer shell (denoted as Ni-MoSex@CoSe2 CSNs). And the resultant Ni-MoSex@CoSe2 CSNs not only had a large number of active sites, but also was good for adsorbing/transferring iodine and hydrogen ions. Therefore, Ni-MoSex@CoSe2 delivered superior performance in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and alkaline hydrogen evolution reactions (HERs). DSSCs based on Ni-MoSex@CoSe2 CSNs performed an outstanding power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 9.58% which was much higher than that of Pt (8.32%). A lower onset potential of 37.5 mV and a smaller Tafel slope of 68.9 mV dec−1 were achieved by Ni-MoSex@CoSe2 as electrocatalysts for HER in 1.0 M KOH. This work affords a new idea for the design of cut-price core-shell nanomaterials with high efficiency and can be extended to the synthesis of other electrocatalysts substituting Pt-based catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123129
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Bifunctional catalyst
  • Core-shell nanosphere
  • Dye-sensitized solar cell
  • Hydrogen evolution
  • Ni-MoSe@CoSe
  • Transition metal selenide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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