Core–shell amorphous cobalt phosphide/cadmium sulfide semiconductor nanorods for exceptional photocatalytic hydrogen production under visible light†
Efficient hydrogen (H2) production is considered to be a key pathway for future clean energy supply. Herein we report that a photocatalyst made of core–shell amorphous cobalt phosphide (CoPx) integrated with cadmium sulfide nanorods (CdS NRs) gives exceptional performance of photocatalytic H2 production under visible light. Under optimal conditions, the CoPx/CdS NRs photocatalyst allows an H2 evolution rate of ∼500 μmol h−1 mg−1 based on the photocatalyst (λ > 420 nm) and the apparent quantum yield was ∼35% in aqueous solutions (λ = 450 nm). The turnover numbers (TONs) reached ∼630 000 per mole of cobalt in 70 hours with a TOF of ∼9000 h−1. Such high performance of an artificial photosynthetic H2 production system using a cobalt-based cocatalyst has, to the best of our knowledge, not been reported to date.