Photocatalytic hydrogen production over CdS: effects of reaction atmosphere studied by in situ Raman spectroscopy†
CdS is a well-known and efficient photocatalyst for photocatalytic hydrogen production. However, CdS is prone to photocorrosion in the photocatalytic reaction, in which CdS itself is oxidized by the photogenerated holes. Most of the work reported, to date, has focused only on the structure of CdS. However, less attention was paid to the kinetic changes of CdS during the photocatalytic reaction, which, in our opinion, is a crucial step for its practical utilization. In this report, we have developed a facile in situ Raman analysis, aiming to clarify the microstructural changes of CdS during the photocatalytic reaction process. In this study, photocatalytic hydrogen production over CdS in an Ar or air atmosphere was studied using various techniques in addition to in situ Raman spectroscopy. With Raman spectroscopy, a significant increase in the surface lattice strain of CdS was only observed when it was exposed to air, while the electron–phonon interactions remained the same regardless of the atmosphere. A direct correlation between the interfacial crystal lattice and photocorrosion of the CdS photocatalyst during photocatalytic hydrogen production was found based on our in situ Raman investigation. Finding the photocorrosion of the CdS photocatalyst at its very early stage using our in situ Raman technique is expected to provide meaningful guidance for the design of active and stable chalcogenide photocatalysts, which, however, cannot be achieved using traditional characterization techniques.