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g-C₃N₄/Ti₃C₂Tₓ (MXenes) composite with oxidized surface groups for efficient photocatalytic hydrogen evolution

Sun, Yuliang, Jin, Di, Sun, Yuan, Meng, Xing, Gao, Yu, Dall’Agnese, Yohan, Chen, Gang, Wang, Xiao-Feng
Journal of materials chemistry 2018 v.6 no.19 pp. 9124-9131
annealing, carbon nitride, electrochemistry, hydrogen production, hydrophilicity, oxidation, oxygen, photocatalysis, titanium
Ti₃C₂Tₓ is a 2-dimensional titanium carbide material featuring outstanding electrochemical properties. In spite of this, application of Ti₃C₂Tₓ as co-catalyst in photo-catalysis is rarely explored, probably because of its metallic nature and hydrophilic surface. Given that Ti₃C₂Tₓ with different surface terminations exhibits large differences in catalytic, electrochemical and chemical properties, we demonstrate an improvement of the photocatalytic activity of Ti₃C₂Tₓ as a co-catalyst by annealing a composite of carbon nitride and Ti₃C₂Tₓ. Ti₃C₂Tₓ with an oxygen terminated surface improved the separation of electron–hole pairs and resulted in a 105% enhancement in the production ratio of hydrogen evolution compared to control samples. The best hydrogen production performance reached as high as 88 μmol h⁻¹ gcₐₜ⁻¹. The apparent quantum yield (AQY) reached as high as 1.27%. The DFT calculations also demonstrate a better hydrogen evolution on Ti₃C₂ with oxygen surface termination.