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Catalysts 2018, 8(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8020052

Relations between Structure, Activity and Stability in C3N4 Based Photocatalysts Used for Solar Hydrogen Production

1
Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock, Albert-Einstein-Str. 29a, 18059 Rostock, Germany
2
Department of Chemistry, Technical University Berlin, Hardenbergstr. 40, 10623 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract

Solar hydrogen production from water could be a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil energy carriers, yet so far photocatalysts active and stable enough for large-scale applications are not available, calling for advanced research efforts. In this work, H2 evolution rates of up to 1968 and 5188 μmol h−1 g−1 were obtained from aqueous solutions of triethanolamine (TEOA) and oxalic acid (OA), respectively, by irradiating composites of AgIn5S8 (AIS), mesoporous C3N4 (CN, surface area >150 m2/g) and ≤2 wt.% in-situ photodeposited Pt nanoparticles (NPs) with UV-vis (≥300 nm) and pure visible light (≥420 nm). Structural properties and electron transport in these materials were analyzed by XRD, STEM-HAADF, XPS, UV-vis-DRS, ATR-IR, photoluminescence and in situ-EPR spectroscopy. Initial H2 formation rates were highest for Pt/CN, yet with TEOA this catalyst deactivated by inclusion of Pt NPs in the matrix of CN (most pronounced at λ ≥ 300 nm) while it remained active with OA, since in this case Pt NPs were enriched on the outermost surface of CN. In Pt/AIS-CN catalysts, Pt NPs were preferentially deposited on the surface of the AIS phase which prevents them from inclusion in the CN phase but reduces simultaneously the initial H2 evolution rate. This suggests that AIS hinders transport of separated electrons from the CN conduction band to Pt NPs but retains the latter accessible by protons to produce H2. View Full-Text
Keywords: AgIn5S8; C3N4; photocatalytic hydrogen production; TEM; XPS; in situ-EPR AgIn5S8; C3N4; photocatalytic hydrogen production; TEM; XPS; in situ-EPR
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sivasankaran, R.P.; Rockstroh, N.; Hollmann, D.; Kreyenschulte, C.R.; Agostini, G.; Lund, H.; Acharjya, A.; Rabeah, J.; Bentrup, U.; Junge, H.; Thomas, A.; Brückner, A. Relations between Structure, Activity and Stability in C3N4 Based Photocatalysts Used for Solar Hydrogen Production. Catalysts 2018, 8, 52.

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