Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (7): 1907001.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201907001

Special Issue: Nanocomposites

• Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Construction of Pt-M (M = Co, Ni, Fe)/g-C3N4 Composites for Highly Efficient Photocatalytic H2 Generation

Liang Wang1,Chenglu Zhu1,Lisha Yin1,2,*(),Wei Huang1   

  1. 1 Institute of Advanced Materials, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, P. R. China
    2 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798
  • Received:2019-07-01 Published:2020-03-21
  • Contact: Lisha Yin
  • Supported by:
    the Jiangsu Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China(BK20160987)


Platinum (Pt) is recognized as an excellent cocatalyst which not only suppresses the charge carrier recombination of the photocatalyst but also reduces the overpotential for photocatalytic H2 generation. Albeit of its good performance, the high cost and low abundance restricted the utilization of Pt in large-scale photocatalytic H2 generation. Pt based transition metal alloys are demonstrated to reveal enhanced activities towards various catalytic reactions, suggesting the possibility to substitute Pt as the cocatalyst. In the present work, Pt was partially substituted with Co, Ni, and Fe and Pt-M (M = Co, Ni, and Fe)/g-C3N4 composites were constructed through co-reduction of H2PtCl6 and transition metal salts by the reductant of ethylene glycol. The crystal structure and valence states were measured by X-ray diffractometer (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS), respectively. The higher degree of XRD peaks and larger binding energies for Pt 4f5/2 and Pt 4f7/2 after incorporating Co2+ ions indicated that Co was successfully introduced into the lattice of Pt and Pt-Co bimetallic alloys was attained through the solvothermal treatment. The morphology was subsequently observed by transmission electron microscope (TEM), which showed a good dispersion of Pt-Co nanoparticles on the surface of g-C3N4. Meanwhile, the shrinkage of lattice fringe after introducing cobalt salt further confirmed the presence of Pt-Co bimetallic alloys. The UV-Vis absorption spectra of g-C3N4 and Pt, Pt-Co deposited g-C3N4 were subsequently performed. It was found that the absorption edges were all consistent for all three samples as anticipated, implying that the band gap energy was maintained after hybridizing with Pt or Pt-Co alloys. Furthermore, the photocatalytic H2 generation was carried out over the as-prepared composites with triethanolamine (TEOA) as sacrificial reagent. Under visible-light illumination, the1% (w) Pt2.5M/g-C3N4 (M = Co, Fe, Ni) composites all exhibited higher or comparable activity towards photocatalytic H2 generation when compared to 1% (w) Pt loaded counterpart. In addition, the atomic ratios of Pt/Co and the loading amount of Pt-Co cocatalyst were modified to optimize the photocatalytic performance, among which, 1% (w) Pt2.5Co/g-C3N4 composite revealed the highest activity with a 1.6-time enhancement. Electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) and photoluminescence (PL) spectra indicated that the enhancement might be attributed to improved charge transfer from g-C3N4 to Pt2.5Co cocatalyst and inhibited charge carrier recombination in the presence of Pt2.5Co cocatalyst. Therefore, the present study demonstrates the great potential to partially replace Pt with low-cost and abundant transition metals and to fabricate Pt based bimetallic alloys as promising cocatalysts for highly efficient photocatalytic H2 generation.

Key words: Photocatalytic H2 generation, Composite, Cocatalyst, g-C3N4, Pt-Co alloy


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