Ag2S/g-C3N4 composite photocatalysts for efficient Pt-free hydrogen production. The co-catalyst function of Ag/Ag2S formed by simultaneous photodeposition†
Without Pt as cocatalyst, the photocatalytic hydrogen evolution activity of graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) or even its composite is normally rather low (<1 μmol h−1). Exploring Pt-free cocatalysts to substitute precious Pt is of great importance in the photocatalytic field. In the present work, Ag2S-modified g-C3N4 (Ag2S/g-C3N4) composite photocatalysts were prepared via a simple precipitation method. The results demonstrated that the photocatalytic H2-production activity of g-C3N4 can be remarkably increased by the combination of Ag2S. The optimal Ag2S loading was found to be 5 wt%, giving a H2 production of 10 μmol h−1, around 100 times that of pure g-C3N4. The enhanced photocatalytic activity can be mainly attributed to the effective charge transfer between g-C3N4 and Ag/Ag2S, of which the latter is formed by simultaneous photodeposition in the photocatalytic H2 evolution reaction and acts as an efficient co-catalyst for the g-C3N4. This work showed the possibility for utilization of Ag2S or Ag/Ag2S as a substitute for Pt in the photocatalytic production of H2 using g-C3N4.