An investigation on PANI/NENP-1 composite as a novel photocatalyst for photocatalytic dye wastewater degradation and photocatalytic hydrogen evolution†
Due to their prominent role in charge separation, constructing hetero-structures is an efficient approach to enhance catalytic activity in photocatalysts. Herein, a novel PANI/NENP-1 heterojunction photocatalyst was synthesized by the hydrothermal method, and its structure was fully characterized by SEM, TEM, XPS, FT-IR, and PXRD. The formation of heterogeneity significantly enhances the photocatalytic decomposition of dye wastewater and the efficiency of hydrogen evolution performance in water under sunlight. The excellent photocatalytic activity of the heterojunction photocatalyst is primarily attributed to: (i) the strong light-absorbing ability of the π-electron conjugated system of nitrogen-rich NENP-1 and (ii) the efficient photogenerated charge separation and transfer of PANI and NENP-1 across a coupled heterojunction interface. It was also confirmed that the combined structure of PANI and NENP-1 bands can induce a charge transfer path at the ultrafast II-scheme. The current study provides a new avenue for the development of heterojunction-based photocatalysts for the elimination of environmental pollutants and efficient solar-to-chemical conversion.