Photoactive g-C3N4/CuZIF-67 bifunctional electrocatalyst with staggered p-n heterojunction for rechargeable Zn-air batteries

Ren Ren, Guicheng Liu*, Ji Young Kim, Ryanda Enggar Anugrah Ardhi, Minh Xuan Tran, Woochul Yang, Joong Kee Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Energy level matching and structural stabilization of semiconductor electrode materials are critical for improving the efficiency and durability of bifunctional catalysts for photo-enhanced rechargeable Zn-air batteries. We developed a photoactive bifunctional air-electrocatalyst comprising n-type g-C3N4 and p-type copper-doped ZIF-67 (CuZIF-67) composite. g-C3N4/CuZIF-67 exhibits wide-range solar spectrum absorption and enhanced electron–hole pairs separation efficiency owing to synergistic effects of a suitable bandgap width, staggered p-n heterojunction band gap structure, and built-in electric field at its p-n heterojunction, leading to higher oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activities compared with single p- and n-type catalysts. It has photo-enhanced charge/discharge abilities, has a voltage gap of 0.81 V under 1-sun-illumination, and maintains stable cycling with 60% round-trip efficiency under illumination over 1000 cycles for 336 h at 2 mA cm−2. In conclusion, staggered p-n heterojunction and pyrrolic nitrogen-rich groups are important for efficient and durable photo-enhanced Zn air batteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121096
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
StatePublished - Jun 5 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Brain Pool program funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT through the National Research Foundation of Korea ( 2019H1D3A1A01069779 ). This work is also supported by KIST Institutional Program ( 2E31863 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Durability
  • Photo-enhanced electrocatalyst
  • Rechargeable Zn-air battery
  • Staggered p-n heterojunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Environmental Science
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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