Size tunable bimetallic nickel-zinc nitride as multi-functional co-catalyst on nitrogen doped titania boost solar energy conversions
To enable high-efficiency solar energy conversions, rational design and preparation of low cost and stable semiconductor photocatalysts with associated co-catalysts are desirable. However preparation of efficient catalytic systems remains a challenge. Here, N-doped TiO2/ternary nickel-zinc nitride (N-TiO2-Ni3ZnN) nano-composites have been shown to be multi-functional catalysts for photocatalytic reactions. The particle size of Ni3ZnN can be readily tuned using N-TiO2 nanospheres as the active support. Due to the high conductivity and Pt-like properties, Ni3ZnN promotes charge separation and transfer, as well as reaction kinetics. The material shows co-catalytic performance relevant for multiple reactions, demonstrating its multifunctionality. Density functional theory (DFT) based calculation confirms the intrinsically metallic property of Ni3ZnN. N-TiO2-Ni3ZnN exhibit evidently improved photocatalytic performances as compared to N-TiO2 under visible light irradiation.