Eosin Y-sensitized partially oxidized Ti3C2 MXene for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution
Ti3C2, though one of the most extensively studied 2D MXenes, is rarely reported in dye-sensitized photocatalysis. Platinum is commonly used as a co-catalyst in photocatalytic hydrogen evolution but it increases the cost and hence restricts the commercialization of this technology. Eosin Y (EY) is widely studied in dye-sensitized systems as it is not only low-cost and easily commercially available, but also exhibits excellent visible light absorption ability. Herein, we oxidized Ti3C2 MXene in water at 60 °C for different times, to form TiO2/Ti3C2 on amorphous carbon (AC) composites. The oxidized MXene was used as a photocatalyst in a dye-sensitized system for hydrogen evolution to replace noble metal co-catalysts such as Pt. The highest hydrogen production rate of 33.4 μmol h−1 g−1 was achieved by the TiO2/Ti3C2@AC-48h composite with the sensitization of 1 mM EY, which was 110 times higher than that of oxidized Ti3C2 without EY. This work shows the potential of 2D MXenes used in dye-sensitized photocatalysis for hydrogen evolution.