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In Situ Nitrogen-Doped Hollow-TiO2/g-C3N4 Composite Photocatalyst with Efficient Charge Separation Boosting Water Reduction under Visible Light

Abstract

Visible-light-driven water splitting process is highly attractive for alternative energy utilization, while developing efficient, earth-abundant, and environmental friendly photocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction has remained as a major challenge. Herein, heterostructure photocatalysts composed of hollow N-doped TiO2 and g-C3N4 (N-TiO2/g-C3N4) were developed by an in situ impregnated calcination method. N-TiO2 and N-TiO2/g-C3N4 heterostructures with different ratios of N-TiO2 and g-C3N4 were synthesized by simply varying the amount of cyanamide (CY) as g-C3N4 precursor. Using N-TiO2/g-C3N4 as a H2 evolution photocatalyst, the largest rate of 296.4 µmol g-1 h-1 was obtained under visible light irradiation (λ ≥ 420 nm) without any noble metal co-catalyst, which is 25.8 times larger than that of pure g-C3N4 (11.5 µmol g-1 h-1). Femtosecond time-resolved diffuse reflectance spectroscopy was used to evaluate the lifetimes of photogenerated electrons and electron transfer dynamics in N-TiO2/g-C3N4. It is suggested that an additional decay pathway exists for the photogenerated electrons in N-TiO2/g-C3N4, in which N-TiO2 acts as an electron trapping site, leading to higher photocatalytic H2 evolution activity than pure g-C3N4. The present work not only provides a facile method for preparing doped materials and heterostructures with efficient photocatalytic activity, but also deepens understanding of charge transfer dynamics in heterostructure photocatalysts.

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Mar 2017, accepted on 18 Apr 2017 and first published on 19 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA01888F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    In Situ Nitrogen-Doped Hollow-TiO2/g-C3N4 Composite Photocatalyst with Efficient Charge Separation Boosting Water Reduction under Visible Light

    X. Shi, M. Fujitsuka, Z. Lou, P. Zhang and T. Majima, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA01888F

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