Rational entry-diffusion induced Kirkendall effect towards Au2S nanotubes

Yi Zhou, Shuping Zhang, Jun Li, Long Liu, Cuifang Wang, Bing Bai*, Hsien Yi Hsu, Ido Hadar, Zongyou Yin, Mark A. Buntine, Xuyong Yang*, Guohua Jia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Semiconductor nanotubes manifesting large surface area, high tensile strength, light weight, fast electron transfer kinetics and high biocompatibility have attracted tremendous attention and find widespread applications. Rational design and preparation of semiconductor nanotubes with such a unique morphology to maximum their performance and therefore, to fulfill their applications is still a challenge. Herein, we report a strategy that is capable of rationalizing entry-diffusion of Au + ions into Cu2-xS nanorods based on the Kirkendall effect, accomplishing consecutive morphology control from solid nanorods to nanotubes, and ultimately to nanorings of Au2S. The structure and composition of Au2S nanotubes were further confirmed through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, annular bright-field scanning transmission electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy and Aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy. Compared with nanorods, Au2S nanotubes demonstrated significantly enhanced catalytic activity in electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction, a remarkably low overpotential of 602.0 mV at a current density of −10 mA cm−2 and a relatively low Tafel slope of 36.87 mV dec−1 in 0.5 M H2SO4 solution. It is anticipated that this novel strategy of mediating ion diffusion rate would inspire rational control of unique morphologies and structures of semiconductor nanocrystals, providing a platform for further applications based on nanomaterials.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number102029
JournalMaterials Today Chemistry
StatePublished - Jun 2024

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  • AuS
  • Cation exchange reaction
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction
  • Kirkendall effect
  • Nanotubes


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