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Surface Plasmon Resonance Enhanced Direct Z-Scheme TiO2/ZnTe/Au Nanocorncob Heterojunctions for Efficient Photocatalytic Overall Water Splitting

Abstract

Solar-driven photocatalytic overall water splitting is regarded as one of ideal strategies to generate renewable hydrogen energy without the initiation of environmental issues. However, there are still a few remaining challenges to develop wide-light-absorption and stable photocatalysts for the simultaneous production of H2 and O2 in pure water without sacrifice reagents. Herein, we report the design and preparation of a Z-scheme TiO2/ZnTe/Au nanocorncob heterojunctions by homogeneously decorating Au nanoparticles onto the surface of core-shell TiO2/ZnTe coaxial nanorods for highly-efficient overall water splitting. With the appropriate band structure of TiO2/ZnTe heterojunctions and the surface plasmon resonance enhancement of Au nanoparticles, the well-designed TiO2/ZnTe/Au nanocorncob heterojunctions can synergistically make effective utilization of broad-range solar light illunimation and enhance the separation efficency of electron-hole pairs, as evidenced by UV-Vis absorption and time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy. Photoelectrochemical characterizations confirm that the water-splitting reaction on TiO2/ZnTe/Au nanocorncobs is mainly carried out via a two-electron/two-electron transfer process with the intermediate product of H2O2. In result, the TiO2/ZnTe/Au nanocorncob photocatalyst can generated H2 and O2 with a stoichiometric ratio of 2:1 under light irradiation without any sacrifice agents, exhibiting a high H2 production rate of 3344.0 μmol·g-1·h-1 and a solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiency of 0.98%. Moreover, the TiO2/ZnTe/Au nanocorncob heterojunctions show high stability and well-preserved morphological integrity after long-term photocatalytic tests. This study provides a prototype route to produce clean hydrogen energy from only sunlight, pure water, and rationally-designed heterojunction photocatalysts.

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Mar 2019, accepted on 09 Apr 2019 and first published on 09 Apr 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9NR01732A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Surface Plasmon Resonance Enhanced Direct Z-Scheme TiO2/ZnTe/Au Nanocorncob Heterojunctions for Efficient Photocatalytic Overall Water Splitting

    W. Zhang, Y. Hu, C. Yan, D. Hong, R. Chen, X. Xue, S. Yang, Y. Tian, Z. Tie and Z. Jin, Nanoscale, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9NR01732A

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