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Engineering a highly dispersed co-catalyst on a few-layered catalyst for efficient photocatalytic H2 evolution: a case study of Ni(OH)2/HNb3O8 nanocomposites

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Abstract

How to control the size and dispersity of co-catalysts and enhance the interaction between the catalyst and co-catalysts are open issues in catalysis. In this work, we have developed a novel approach to solve the aforementioned problems by utilizing the interlayered spatial steric inhibition effect of layered materials and the self-assembly of 2D nanosheets. A Ni(OH)2-modified few-layered HNb3O8 photocatalyst is taken as a typical example. SEM and TEM results show that the co-catalyst Ni(OH)2 with an ultrasmall size has been uniformly dispersed on the HNb3O8 layers through our method. However, the samples prepared by a traditional deposition method exhibit a heterogeneous Ni(OH)2 modification with a large size. That is, our method could provide a larger number of surface active sites. Furthermore, due to the confined interlayer region of the layered HNb3O8, a very strong interaction between Ni(OH)2 and HNb3O8 is achieved. As a result, the photogenerated charge carriers have been separated efficiently and the lifetime of the charge carrier is prolonged. Thus, the photocatalytic activities of our Ni(OH)2/HNb3O8 samples are greatly enhanced. The optimal H2 evolution rate of our sample is about 15.7 times higher than that of the sample prepared by a traditional co-catalyst modification method. This work highlights an efficient strategy for obtaining a highly dispersed co-catalyst, which might help to guide the way toward the development of highly efficient co-catalyst-modified photocatalyst systems.

Graphical abstract: Engineering a highly dispersed co-catalyst on a few-layered catalyst for efficient photocatalytic H2 evolution: a case study of Ni(OH)2/HNb3O8 nanocomposites

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Aug 2017, accepted on 05 Oct 2017 and first published on 05 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CY01792H
Citation: Catal. Sci. Technol., 2017, Advance Article
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    Engineering a highly dispersed co-catalyst on a few-layered catalyst for efficient photocatalytic H2 evolution: a case study of Ni(OH)2/HNb3O8 nanocomposites

    Y. Xia, W. Chen, S. Liang, J. Bi, L. Wu and X. Wang, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CY01792H

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