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Influence of gas atmosphere during synthesis of g-C3N4 for enhanced photocatalytic H2 production from water on Au/g-C3N4 composites

Abstract

The design of Au/g-C3N4 nanocomposites for enhanced H2 production from water under solar and visible light irradiations is presented by varying the g-C3N4 synthesis atmosphere (Air, N2, H2, Ar and NH3). We showed for the first time that synthesis of g-C3N4 in pure NH3 atmosphere led to enhanced photocatalytic performances between 3 and 9 times higher than for g-C3N4 prepared in other gas atmospheres. The resulting and novel 0.3 wt.% Au/g-C3N4-NH3 photocatalyst produced up to 324 μmol h-1 gcat-1 and 26 μmol h-1 gcat-1 of H2 corresponding to internal quantum yields of 1.85 and 0.60% under solar and visible light irradiation respectively, with unusual low amount of triethanolamine used as sacrificial agent (1 vol.%). This enhanced activity was correlated to g-C3N4 structural, optical, porosity, and surface properties, and to the quality of the interface with Au NPs. From in-depth structure-activity correlation study, we highlighted the combined effects of higher surface area with a larger contribution of mesoporous volume, higher crystallization degree of g-C3N4-NH3 and lower deformation of nanosheets. Additionally, the ratio between tri-s-triazine and s-triazine based C3N4 were determined and used for the first time to point out the effect of the different continuous gas flow atmospheres during synthesis. Furthermore, g-C3N4-NH3 suitable surface chemistry allowed more homogeneous coverage with small Au NPs yielding more intimate contact and higher quality of interface between Au NPs and g-C3N4 support

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Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 15 Feb 2019, accepted on 30 Apr 2019 and first published on 02 May 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA01734H
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Influence of gas atmosphere during synthesis of g-C3N4 for enhanced photocatalytic H2 production from water on Au/g-C3N4 composites

    P. Jiménez, C. Marchal, T. Cottineau, V. Caps and V. KELLER, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA01734H

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