With the increasing interest in using hydrogen as a sustainable and carbon-free energy carrier, there is a great need to explore and optimize new catalysts suitable for electrochemical water reduction. The scale of global energy demand calls for such hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts to be fabricated from non-precious materials.
In this study, a large group of first-row transition metal dichalcogenides (ME2, M = Fe, Co, Ni; E = S, Se) are introduced as non-precious HER catalysts . Our electrochemical studies reveal their high activity towards the HER in an acidic electrolyte, which is among the most active electrocatalysts based on non-noble materials. These materials effectively enrich the family of hydrogen-producing catalysts, which may find uses in solar-fuel devices.
 D. Kong, J. J. Cha, H. Wang, H. R. Lee and Y. Cui, Energy Environmental Science (2013), DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42413H