Highly efficient photocatalytic hydrogen evolution of graphene/YInO3 nanocomposites under visible light irradiation†
Visible-light-driven hydrogen evolution with high efficiency is important in the current photocatalysis research. Here we report for the first time the design and synthesis of a new graphene–semiconductor nanocomposite consisting of YInO3 nanoparticles and two-dimensional graphene sheets as efficient photocatalysts for hydrogen evolution under visible light irradiation. The graphene/YInO3 nanocomposites were synthesized using a facile solvothermal method in which the formation of graphene and the deposition of YInO3 nanoparticles on the graphene sheets can be achieved simultaneously. The addition of graphene as a cocatalyst can narrow the band gap of YInO3 to visible photon energy and prolong the separation and lifetime of electron–hole pairs by the chemical bonding between YInO3 and graphene. The photocatalytic reaction with this nanocomposite reaches a high H2 evolution rate of 400.4 μmol h−1 g−1 when the content of graphene is 0.5 wt%, over 127 and 3.7 times higher than that of pure YInO3 and Pt/YInO3, respectively. This work can provide an effective approach to the fabrication of graphene-based photocatalysts with high performance in the field of energy conversion.