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      Novel Zn 0.8Cd 0.2S@g-C 3N 4 core–shell heterojunctions with a twin structure for enhanced visible-light-driven photocatalytic hydrogen generation

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          Abstract

          The excellent photocatalytic activity of Zn 0.8Cd 0.2S@g-C 3N 4 heterojunctions is ascribed to the synergetic effects of twinned homojunctions and core–shell structures.

          Abstract

          A series of novel core–shell nanocomposites composed of twinned nanocrystal Zn 0.8Cd 0.2S solid solution and porous g-C 3N 4 nanosheets were fabricated by a combined ultrasonication and solvothermal method. The photocatalytic hydrogen production activities of these samples were evaluated without a co-catalyst in water under visible light irradiation ( λ ≥ 420 nm). It is found that the H 2 production rate of the Zn 0.8Cd 0.2S@g-C 3N 4-10 wt% sample was 2351.18 μmol h −1 g −1, which is 146.0 and 5.7 times higher than that of pristine porous g-C 3N 4 nanosheets and Zn 0.8Cd 0.2S solid solution. Further detailed characterization reveals that the drastically enhanced and stable light-to-hydrogen energy conversion can be attributed to not only the efficient spatial separation of the photo-induced electrons and holes resulted from the synergetic effects of twinned homojunctions and core–shell heterojunctions, but also the intimate contact at the molecular scale between the porous g-C 3N 4 shell and Zn 0.8Cd 0.2S core. Therefore, this work puts forward a promising way to obtain unique core–shell heterojunctions with excellent stability and activity during a photoreaction process.

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          Most cited references45

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          Electrochemical Photolysis of Water at a Semiconductor Electrode

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            Graphitic Carbon Nitride (g-C3N4)-Based Photocatalysts for Artificial Photosynthesis and Environmental Remediation: Are We a Step Closer To Achieving Sustainability?

            As a fascinating conjugated polymer, graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has become a new research hotspot and drawn broad interdisciplinary attention as a metal-free and visible-light-responsive photocatalyst in the arena of solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. This is due to its appealing electronic band structure, high physicochemical stability, and "earth-abundant" nature. This critical review summarizes a panorama of the latest progress related to the design and construction of pristine g-C3N4 and g-C3N4-based nanocomposites, including (1) nanoarchitecture design of bare g-C3N4, such as hard and soft templating approaches, supramolecular preorganization assembly, exfoliation, and template-free synthesis routes, (2) functionalization of g-C3N4 at an atomic level (elemental doping) and molecular level (copolymerization), and (3) modification of g-C3N4 with well-matched energy levels of another semiconductor or a metal as a cocatalyst to form heterojunction nanostructures. The construction and characteristics of each classification of the heterojunction system will be critically reviewed, namely metal-g-C3N4, semiconductor-g-C3N4, isotype g-C3N4/g-C3N4, graphitic carbon-g-C3N4, conducting polymer-g-C3N4, sensitizer-g-C3N4, and multicomponent heterojunctions. The band structures, electronic properties, optical absorption, and interfacial charge transfer of g-C3N4-based heterostructured nanohybrids will also be theoretically discussed based on the first-principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations to provide insightful outlooks on the charge carrier dynamics. Apart from that, the advancement of the versatile photoredox applications toward artificial photosynthesis (water splitting and photofixation of CO2), environmental decontamination, and bacteria disinfection will be presented in detail. Last but not least, this comprehensive review will conclude with a summary and some invigorating perspectives on the challenges and future directions at the forefront of this research platform. It is anticipated that this review can stimulate a new research doorway to facilitate the next generation of g-C3N4-based photocatalysts with ameliorated performances by harnessing the outstanding structural, electronic, and optical properties for the development of a sustainable future without environmental detriment.
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              Heterogeneous photocatalyst materials for water splitting.

              This critical review shows the basis of photocatalytic water splitting and experimental points, and surveys heterogeneous photocatalyst materials for water splitting into H2 and O2, and H2 or O2 evolution from an aqueous solution containing a sacrificial reagent. Many oxides consisting of metal cations with d0 and d10 configurations, metal (oxy)sulfide and metal (oxy)nitride photocatalysts have been reported, especially during the latest decade. The fruitful photocatalyst library gives important information on factors affecting photocatalytic performances and design of new materials. Photocatalytic water splitting and H2 evolution using abundant compounds as electron donors are expected to contribute to construction of a clean and simple system for solar hydrogen production, and a solution of global energy and environmental issues in the future (361 references).
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                JMCAET
                Journal of Materials Chemistry A
                J. Mater. Chem. A
                Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
                2050-7488
                2050-7496
                2018
                2018
                : 6
                : 35
                : 17086-17094
                Affiliations
                [1 ]College of Materials and Chemical Engineering
                [2 ]Hubei Provincial Collaborative Innovation Center for New Energy Microgrid
                [3 ]Key Laboratory of Inorganic Non-metallic Crystalline and Energy Conversion Materials
                [4 ]China Three Gorges University
                [5 ]Yichang 443002
                Article
                10.1039/C8TA05927F
                ab3c4858-463a-4256-b66d-0bf75b5bae99
                © 2018

                http://rsc.li/journals-terms-of-use

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