Enhanced Schottky effect of a 2D–2D CoP/g-C3N4 interface for boosting photocatalytic H2 evolution
As emerging noble metal-free co-catalysts, transition metal phosphides have been employed to improve photocatalytic H2 production activity. Herein, the metallicity of CoP, as a representative phosphide, and the Schottky effect between CoP and g-C3N4 are confirmed via theoretical calculations. Then, a 2D/2D structure is designed to enlarge the Schottky effect between the interfaces, for which the apparent quantum efficiency of the photocatalytic H2 evolution is 2.1 times that of corresponding 0D/2D heterojunctions. The morphology, microstructure, chemical composition, and physical nature of pristine CoP, g-C3N4, and the composites are characterized in order to investigate the dynamic behavior of photo-induced charge carriers between CoP and g-C3N4. Based on the measurements, it is proposed that the efficient electron collecting effect of CoP can be attributed to the superior interfacial contact and Schottky junction between the CoP and g-C3N4 interfaces. Furthermore, the excellent electrical conductivity and low overpotential of CoP make water reduction easier. This work demonstrates that the construction of a 2D/2D structure based on a suitable Fermi level is crucial for enhancing the Schottky effect of transition metal phosphides.
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