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Combining ZnS with WS2 nanosheets to fabricate a broad-spectrum composite photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution

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Abstract

With hydrogen storage methods advancing, “hydrogen economy” has been attracting considerable attention from scientists. It is therefore essential to develop efficient and stable methods for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution (PHE). Although some photocatalysts are highly efficient, they often contain noble or heavy metals, which are either expensive or not environmentally friendly. Therefore, fabricating economical and environmental-friendly photocatalysts is still a challenge. ZnS is an inefficient photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution due to its inability to absorb light at wavelengths longer than the ultraviolet range of the solar spectrum, a high recombination rate for photoinduced electron–holes, and photocorrosion as a result of photogenerated holes. WS2 nanosheets are known as excellent cocatalysts. Herein, we report the first demonstration of ZnS/WS2 nanosheet-composites (several layers) for use as economical and environmental-friendly photocatalysts. Combining ZnS with WS2 nanosheets together can broaden the absorption spectrum and improve the electron–hole pairs separation efficiency. WS2 nanosheets serve as an electron transporter, PHE activity sites, and also a ZnS nanoparticle immobilization scaffold in the composite. The PHE activity of ZnS/WS2 nanocomposite is three times higher than that of pure ZnS nanoparticles under Xe lamp (300 W) irradiation, and the catalyst shows excellent photostability. The strategy presented in this study may have potential use in fabricating economical and environmental-friendly photocatalysts.

Graphical abstract: Combining ZnS with WS2 nanosheets to fabricate a broad-spectrum composite photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jul 2017, accepted on 14 Sep 2017 and first published on 14 Sep 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NJ02474F
Citation: New J. Chem., 2017, Advance Article
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    Combining ZnS with WS2 nanosheets to fabricate a broad-spectrum composite photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution

    Y. Zhong, Y. Shao, B. Huang, X. Hao and Y. Wu, New J. Chem., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NJ02474F

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