Next Article in Journal
Carbon-Supported Copper-Based Nitrogen-Containing Supramolecule as an Efficient Oxygen Reduction Reaction Catalyst in Neutral Medium
Next Article in Special Issue
g-C3N4-Based Nanomaterials for Visible Light-Driven Photocatalysis
Previous Article in Journal
An MM and QM Study of Biomimetic Catalysis of Diels-Alder Reactions Using Cyclodextrins
Previous Article in Special Issue
EPR Investigations of G-C3N4/TiO2 Nanocomposites
Open AccessArticle

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

Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock, Albert-Einstein-Str. 29a, 18059 Rostock, Germany
Department of Chemistry, Technical University Berlin, Hardenbergstr. 40, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2018, 8(2), 52;
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
PDF [5115 KB, uploaded 29 January 2018]


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

Graphical abstract

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).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Catalysts EISSN 2073-4344 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top