Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 21;13(1):6249. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-33725-8.
Hydrogen energy is critical for achieving carbon neutrality. Heterostructured materials with single metal-atom dispersion are desirable for hydrogen production. However, it remains a great challenge to achieve large-scale fabrication of single atom-anchored heterostructured catalysts with high stability, low cost, and convenience. Here, we report single iron (Fe) atom-dispersed heterostructured Mo-based nanosheets developed from a mineral hydrogel. These rationally designed nanosheets exhibit excellent hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) activity and reliability in alkaline condition, manifesting an overpotential of 38.5 mV at 10 mA cm-2, and superior stability without performance deterioration over 600 h at current density up to 200 mA cm-2, superior to most previously reported non-noble-metal electrocatalysts. The experimental and density functional theory results reveal that the O-coordinated single Fe atom-dispersed heterostructures greatly facilitated H2O adsorption and enabled effective adsorbed hydrogen (H*) adsorption/desorption. The green, scalable production of single-atom-dispersed heterostructured HER electrocatalysts reported here is of great significance in promoting their large-scale implementation.