Catalysis Today, Vol.339, 120-126, 2020
Mo2TiC2 MXene: A Promising Catalyst for Electrocatalytic Ammonia Synthesis
Electrocatalytic ammonia synthesis provides an energy-efficient alternative to the Haber - Bosch process. The aim is to find promising electrocatalysts which are able to change the reaction pathway and reduce the overpotential. Here, based on density functional theory, a comprehensive mechanism study of the N-2 activation and NH3 synthesis on the Mo2TiC2 MXenes is presented. For catalytic reaction mechanism, nineteen different possible pathways are screened for the lowest overpotential, where the corresponding potential-determining step are compared by Gibbs free energy calculation. The result reveals Mo2TiC2 MXenes exhibit both valid N-2-philicity and high catalytic activity for electrocatalytic ammonia synthesis through a dissociation mechanism with a low overpotential of 0.26 V. Further, the competing reaction of H-2 evolution is simultaneously suppressed which shows a relatively high potentials of 0.74 V. This study shows a brand new material for catalyzing NH3 synthesis under ambient conditions and provides the theory background to reduce the overpotential by changing the reaction pathway.