Two-Dimensional Materials as Novel Co-Catalysts for Efficient Solar-Driven Hydrogen Production
Hydrogen has attracted extensive attention due to its versatile applications in various fields. As the starting step, hydrogen production has been being a critical technique for the practical applications of hydrogen-related technologies. Solar-driven water splitting has been considered as one of the cleanest ways for hydrogen production because solar power is abundant and clean, and the products are only hydrogen and oxygen. Consequently, strategies to increase the efficiency of solar-to-hydrogen conversion are widely explored. Based on the basic requirements, loading co-catalysts in photocatalysis is emerging as an effective method to improve the efficiency for solar-driven water splitting. In the review, we shall systematically discuss the recent developments on two-dimensional (2D) materials, including graphene, 2D transitional-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), and MXenes, for their applications as co-catalysts in the photocatalytic / photoelectrochemical H2 evolution. It is noted that highly efficient electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in electrocatalysis can be used as superior co-catalysts in photocatalysis. Therefore, various methods to improve the HER activity of co-catalyst, such as phase-control, doping, defect engineering, hybridization, and functionalization, have been adopted to increase the photocatalytic performances of decorated photocatalysts, which are also systematically discussed. Through the comprehensive literature review, we summarize and propose the concept, that is, “electrocatalysts can be used as co-catalysts in photocatalysis for the improvement of solar-driven H2 evolution”. We believe that the concept shall shed light on the development of technologies on photocatalytic hydrogen production for practical applications. At the same time, we trust that efficient, inexpensive and stable co-catalysts will be designed and fabricated not only to promote the efficiency of solar-driven hydrogen production on large scale but to be beneficial to other catalytic processes.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A Recent Review Articles