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Research Article

Understanding the roles of carbon in carbon/g-C3N4 based photocatalysts for H2 evolution

Mu Xiao1Yalong Jiao2,Bin Luo1( )Songcan Wang1,ǂPeng Chen1Miaoqiang Lyu1Aijun Du2Lianzhou Wang1( )
Nanomaterials Centre, School of Chemical Engineering and Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Science and Engineering Faculty Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia
Present address: Faculty for Chemistry and Food Chemistry, TU Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Present address: Frontiers Science Center for Flexible Electronics, Shaanxi Institute of Flexible Electronics & Shaanxi Institute of Biomedical Materials and Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, West Youyi Road, Xi’an 710072, China
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Graphical Abstract

A new type of carbon/g-C3N4 complex photocatalyst is synthesized with a 6-fold enhancement of H2 evolution rate compared to that of g-C3N4, which is attributed to the improved exciton dissociation and enhanced electric conductivity for charge transfer, rather than increased visible-light absorption from carbon.

Abstract

Coupling graphitic carbon nitride (CN) with carbonaceous materials is an effective strategy to improve photocatalytic performance, but the contributions of carbonaceous materials are not fully understood. Herein, a new type of carbon/CN (CCN) complex photocatalyst is synthesized with a 6-fold enhancement of H2 evolution rate compared to that of pristine CN. The role of carbon in photocatalytic H2 evolution reaction is systemically studied and it is experimentally and theoretically revealed that carbon mainly contributes to the improved capability of exciton dissociation and enhanced electric conductivity for charge transfer, leading to an increased population of photo-carriers for photocatalytic reactions. Interestingly, the enhanced light absorption originated from carbon barely generates charge carriers for H2 evolution activity. These new findings will inspire the rational design of carbon-based photocatalysts for efficient solar fuel production.

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Nano Research
Pages 4539-4545
Cite this article:
Xiao M, Jiao Y, Luo B, et al. Understanding the roles of carbon in carbon/g-C3N4 based photocatalysts for H2 evolution. Nano Research, 2023, 16(4): 4539-4545. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-021-3897-7
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Received: 14 July 2021
Revised: 08 September 2021
Accepted: 21 September 2021
Published: 15 October 2021
© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021
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