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Bio-inspired SiO2-hard-template reconstructed g-C3N4 nanosheets for enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution

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Abstract

Building architectures to manipulate light propagation using a light-conversion matrix is one of the most competitive strategies to enhance photocatalytic performance. In this work, a bio-inspired SiO2 hard template with interconnected SiO2 with a one-dimensional structure was devised to enhance the visible light harvesting ability of g-C3N4, and the SiO2/g-C3N4 nanocomposite is cleverly synthesized via an in situ thermal polymerization method. Based on UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectrometry (UV-vis DRS) and finite difference time domain simulation (FDTD) measurements, it is found that the SiO2/g-C3N4 nanocomposite displays obviously enhanced visible light absorption and light-scattering when compared to pristine g-C3N4, suggesting it has highly enhanced light harvesting ability. As expected, SiO2/g-C3N4 displays a remarkable enhancement in photocatalytic H2 production when compared to bare g-C3N4. Such enhancement is attributed to the synergistic effect of g-C3N4 and SiO2 hard template microstructures. The SiO2 one-dimensional structure not only enhances light scattering to widen the visible-light absorption range and improve the utilization efficiency of solar energy, but it also increases the specific surface area of g-C3N4 by reducing its aperture size. This research has far-reaching implications for increasing the use of sunlight and improving the development of hydrogen energy.

Graphical abstract: Bio-inspired SiO2-hard-template reconstructed g-C3N4 nanosheets for enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
18 Feb 2020
Accepted
09 Jun 2020
First published
11 Jun 2020

Catal. Sci. Technol., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Bio-inspired SiO2-hard-template reconstructed g-C3N4 nanosheets for enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution

M. You, S. Yi, D. Xia, H. Jing, H. Ji, L. Zhang, Y. Wang, Z. Zhang and D. Chen, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0CY00321B

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