Exposed (002) facets and controllable thickness of CdS nanobelts drive desirable hydrogen-adsorption free energy (ΔGH) for boosting visible-light photocatalytic performance†
In order to obtain high photocatalytic performance, co-catalysts loading is most commonly used, which has economic disadvantages and can cause environmental pollution. Here, we combine the strategy of controllable thickness of CdS with hydrogen binding properties and hydrogen adsorption free energy (ΔGH). An ultrathin (1.5–2.5 nm) (002) faceted CdS nanobelt was synthesized by a stirring-assisted solvothermal method. Without any co-catalysts, it achieved a superior high visible-light photocatalytic performance of 282.12 mmol g−1 h−1 and an apparent quantum yield of 82.4% at 420 nm. This super photocatalytic performance arises from the exposed (002) facets and the controllable thickness of the CdS nanobelt, where the controllable thickness of the CdS nanobelt leads to a desirable value for the hydrogen adsorption free energy (ΔGH) resulting in higher photocatalytic performance. This work provides a facile strategy that can contribute to exploiting the high efficiency co-catalysts-free photocatalyst for photocatalytic hydrogen production.