Co3O4 imbedded g-C3N4 heterojunction photocatalysts for visible-light-driven hydrogen evolution

Lingyan Yang, Jing Liu, Liping Yang, Mei Zhang, Hui Zhu, Fu Wang, Jiao Yin

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117 Scopus citations


Co3O4 imbedded g-C3N4 (Co3O4/g-C3N4) heterojunction photocatalysts were synthesized via initial dissolution of C, N and Co organic precursors in aqueous phase, subsequent evaporation of water and final thermopolymerization. This facile aqueous-induced complexation of organic precursors guaranteed that Co3O4 was homogeneously dispersed in g-C3N4 matrix even if the mass loading of Co3O4 reached up to 0.3–3 wt %. The as-constructed Co3O4/g-C3N4 composites were applied in visible-light-driven hydrogen evolution for the first time in which the mass loading of Co3O4 was optimized at 1 wt %, achieving a maximal hydrogen evolution rate of 50 μmol/h/g, as higher as 5 times than those of pure g-C3N4 and Co3O4. The enhanced photocatalytic activity of Co3O4/g-C3N4 composites was originated from well-established p-n heterojunctions when certain amount of p-type Co3O4 nanoparticles were introduced and highly dispersed into n-type g-C3N4 matrix. The Co3O4/g-C3N4 p-n heterojunctions effectively retard the recombination of photoinduced electron-hole pairs, promote charge separation, extend visible light absorption range and finally improve photocatalytic hydrogen evolution activity and stability. As a result, this facile, effective, green and universal strategy opens up new horizons to realize high dispersion of metal oxides in g-C3N4 matrix and to achieve higher performance in photocatalytic activity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-698
Number of pages8
JournalRenewable Energy
StatePublished - Jun 17 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work is financially supported by the Youth Innovation Promotion Association, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. 2019427), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC0110202), and the Foundation of Director of Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics & Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. 2016PY005).


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