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Engineering an Effective Noble-Metal-Free Photocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution: Hollow Hexagonal Porous Micro-rod Assembled by In2O3@Carbon Core-Shell Nanoparticles

Abstract

It is desirable but challenging to design noble-metal-free photocatalysts with improved activity for hydrogen (H2) evolution. In this study, we fabricated a hollow hexagonal porous micro-rod assembled by core-shell In2O3@Carbon nanoparticles (PHIC) via one-step thermal decomposition of In-MIL-68 precursor. Under simulated sun-light illumination, the final H2 yield rate of PHIC is comparable to that of Pt/PHI (PHI, hollow hexagonal micro-rod assembled by In2O3 nanoparticles without carbon layer), indicating that continuous carbon layers coating on In2O3 nanoparticles have a Pt-like effect in improving the photocatalytic activity. Our experimental results indicated that the improved photocatalytic H2 evolution of PHIC is attributed to the synergistic effect of efficient separation of photo-generated electron-hole pairs caused by coating carbon layer, the enhanced optical absorption of hollow characters, and the improved accessibility provided by porous structure. Among which, efficient separation of photo-generated electron-hole pairs plays the main role. Furthermore, we reveal the microscopic charge carrier migration path of via In2O3/graphite interfaces, meaning that the photo-generated electrons from In2O3 O2p orbitals transfer into the carbon C2p orbitals, leaving the photo-generated holes in In2O3 O2p orbitals, which is beneficial to improve the separation of photo-generated electron-hole pairs.

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 May 2018, accepted on 27 Jun 2018 and first published on 29 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA04916E
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Engineering an Effective Noble-Metal-Free Photocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution: Hollow Hexagonal Porous Micro-rod Assembled by In2O3@Carbon Core-Shell Nanoparticles

    R. Li, L. Sun, W. Zhan, X. Wang and X. Han, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA04916E

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