Novel metal doped carbon quantum dots/CdS composites for efficient photocatalytic hydrogen evolution
Carbon quantum dots (CDs) are rising stars for photocatalytic applications due to their low toxicity and excellent electron transfer characteristics. Doping with heteroatoms is expected to adjust the band levels and electron transfer properties of CDs, and understanding the effect of doping on CDs can aid the rational preparation of highly efficient CD-based photocatalysts. Herein, we prepared a series of metal atom (Zn, Co, Bi, Cd, or Ti) doped CDs by pyrolysis and explored the photocatalytic application of these metal doped CDs for the first time. The metal doped CDs were combined with CdS nanowires as a co-catalyst for photocatalytic hydrogen production. The Bi, Cd and Ti doped CDs/CdS composites show much better hydrogen production performance than the undoped CDs/CdS composite. Among these composites, Bi-CDs/CdS presents the optimal interfacial charge separation and the best hydrogen production performance. The hydrogen evolution rate of Bi-CDs/CdS is 4.2 times and almost one time higher than that of pure CdS and undoped CDs/CdS, respectively. Bi doping can make the CDs metallic and promote the charge transfer of CDs. Such a great enhancement originates from the outstanding electron transfer properties of Bi-doped CDs, as well as the effective charge separation between Bi-doped CDs and CdS. Bi doping was demonstrated to be an effective strategy for optimizing the photocatalytic activity of CD based composites.