Insights into the light-driven hydrogen evolution reaction of mesoporous graphitic carbon nitride decorated with Pt or Ru nanoparticles†
Ru or Pt nanoparticles have been prepared following the organometallic approach and deposited onto the surface of mesoporous graphitic carbon nitride (mpg-CN). Three different Ru-based samples have also been compared to investigate the effect of 4-phenylpyridine as a stabilizing agent. The photocatalytic performance towards the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) has been tested showing that all hybrid systems clearly outperform the photocatalytic activity of bare mpg-CN. In particular, Pt-decorated mpg-CN yields the largest H2 production upon visible-light irradiation (870 μmol h−1 g−1, TOF = 14.1 h−1, TON = 339 after 24 h) when compared with the Ru-based samples (137–155 μmol h−1 g−1, TOFs between 2.3–2.7 h−1, TONs between 54–57 after 24 h). Long-term photochemical tests (up to 65 h irradiation) show also an improved stability of the Pt-based samples over the Ru counterpart. Photophysical experiments aimed at rationalizing the photocatalytic performance of the different hybrid systems elucidate that the enhanced activity of the Pt-decorated mpg-CN over the Ru-based analogues arises from improved electron transfer kinetics from mpg-CN to the metal nanoparticles.