ReS2 Nanosheets from Colloidal Synthesis for Application in Gas Sensing and Electrocatalysis
Beatriz Martín-García a b, Davide Spirito c, Sebastiano Bellani a, Mirko Prato d, Valentino Romano e, Anatolii Polovitsyn b f, Rosaria Brescia g, Reinier Oropesa-Nuñez h, Leyla Najafi a, Alberto Ansaldo a, Giovanna D’Angelo e, Vittorio Pellegrini a h, Roman Krahne c, Iwan Moreels b f, Francesco Bonaccorso a h
a Graphene Labs, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, IT, Italy
b Department of Nanochemistry, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy, Via Morego, 30, Genova, Italy
c Optoelectronics Group, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, IT, Italy
d Materials Characterization Facility, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
e Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Messina, V. le F. Stagno d’Alcontres 31, Messina 98166, Italy
f Gent University - BE, Krijgslaan 281 - S3, Gent, Belgium
g Electron Microscopy Facility, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, IT, Italy
h BeDimensional Spa., Italy, Lungotorrente Secca, 3d, Genova, Italy
Poster, Beatriz Martín-García, 005
Publication date: 6th May 2020

Besides the most studied MoS2 and WS2 transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), an emerging family of anisotropic layered materials, which show new functionalities and physical phenomena, has recently captured the Researchers’ attention. Among them, one can find ReS2, whose distorted 1T structure promotes a strong in-plane anisotropy with nearly layer-independent optoelectronic and physicochemical properties. In particular, the resulting electronic structure allows the use of multilayer ReS2 for applications ranging from photodetectors and energy storage/generation, to gas sensors and catalysts for H2 production.[1,2] However, scalable and cost-efficient production methods, compatible with nowadays devices technologies, are needed to motivate its use. Currently chemical or physical vapor deposition (CVD or PVD) methods are used for ReS2, but they are costly and involve high temperatures and vacuum conditions, together with time-consuming fabrication processes.[1,2] As alternative, we developed a colloidal synthesis approach, which allows the production of ReS2 at temperatures below 400 °C and with reaction times of less than 2 h,[3] resulting in a more cost-efficient strategy than the CVD and PVD methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate the potential application of the colloidal ReS2 in gas sensing and electrocatalysis for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In both cases, we exploit the presence of active sites at the surface promoted by the stable and distorted 1T structure of the ReS2 [4,5] in the colloidal material. In the case of gas sensing, we combine the solution-based synthesis with surface functionalization strategies, showing the feasibility of colloidal ReS2 nanosheet films for sensing of different toxic gases (NH3), moisture and other volatile compounds with competitive performance in terms of sensitivity and response time in comparison with devices built with CVD-grown ReS2 and MoS2. Regarding the electrocatalysis, we integrate the ReS2 nanosheets over a network of carbon nanotubes in order to fabricate electrodes for the HER in both acid and alkaline media. Our proof-of-principle devices show an electrocatalytic overpotential that is competitive with devices based on ReS2 produced by CVD, and even with group-6 TMDCs, namely MoS2, WS2 and MoSe2.[3]

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 696656 (GrapheneCore1) and no. 785219 (GrapheneCore2), and the European Research Council (grant agreement no. 714876 PHOCONA).

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