Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2021, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (8): 2009102.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB202009102

Special Issue: Two-Dimensional Photocatalytic Materials

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Non-Noble-Metallic Cocatalyst Ni2P Nanoparticles Modified Graphite-Like Carbonitride with Enhanced Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution under Visible Light Irradiation

Peng Zhang1,2, Jiquan Wang1,*(), Yuan Li2, Lisha Jiang2, Zhuangzhuang Wang2, Gaoke Zhang2,*()   

  1. 1 Hubei Province Engineering Consulting Co, Ltd., Wuhan 430061, China
    2 School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
  • Received:2020-09-29 Accepted:2020-10-28 Published:2020-11-02
  • Contact: Jiquan Wang,Gaoke Zhang;
  • About author:Email: (G.Z.)
    Email: (J.W.)
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Founding of China(51472194);the National Science Funding of Hubei Province, China(2016CFA078)


Energy crisis has become a serious global issue due to the increasing depletion of fossil fuels; therefore, it is crucial to develop environmentally friendly and renewable energy resources, such as hydrogen (H2), to replace fossil fuels. From this viewpoint, photocatalytic H2 production is considered as one of the most promising technologies. Noble metal platinum (Pt) can be applied as an efficient cocatalyst for improving the H2 production performance of photocatalytic systems; however, its high cost limits its further application. Thus, the development of novel, high-activity, and low-cost cocatalysts for replacing noble metal cocatalysts is of great significance for use in photocatalytic H2 evolution techniques. Herein, we successfully synthesized a Ni2P/graphite-like carbonitride photocatalyst (Ni2P/CN) using a conjugated polymer (SCN)n as precursor for enhanced photocatalytic H2 production under visible light illumination. Various characterization techniques, including optical and photoelectronic chemical tests, were used to investigate the structural composition, morphology, and light adsorption ability of these materials. X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results showed that Ni2P/CN nanocomposites with good crystal structure were obtained. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy results revealed that the Ni2P/CN samples had a typical two-dimensional layered structure, and the Ni2P nanoparticles were uniformly loaded on the surface of the CN to form a non-noble metal promoter. UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectra results demonstrated that the loading of Ni2P nanoparticles effectively enhances the adsorption capacity of CN to visible light. Photoluminescence spectroscopy and photocurrent (PL) results suggested that Ni2P loading to CN is beneficial for promoting the migration and separation efficiency of photogenerated carriers. Photocatalytic H2 production was conducted under visible light irradiation with triethanolamine as a sacrificial agent. The results suggest that the Ni2P/CN composite photocatalysts exhibit excellent photocatalytic reduction performance. In particular, the H2 evolution rate of the optimal Ni2P/CN nanocomposite is 623.77 μmol·h-1·g-1, which is higher than that of CN modified by noble metal Pt, i.e., 524.63 μmol·h-1·g-1. In conclusion, Ni2P nanoparticles are homogeneously attached to the surface of CN, and a strong interfacial effect exists between them, thereby forming an electron transfer tunnel that greatly inhibits the recombination of photoinduced carriers and promotes the migration of electrons from CN to Ni2P. In addition, a possible photocatalytic mechanism is proposed based on the experiments and characterizations. This work has profound significance for developing non-noble metal cocatalysts for the substitution of noble metal cocatalysts for high-efficiency photocatalytic H2 evolution.

Key words: Cocatalyst, Ni2P, Photocatalytic hydrogen evolution, Interfacial effect, Visible light


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