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Cubic-like BaZrO3 nanocrystals with exposed {001}/{011} facets and tuned electronic band structure for enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen production

Meng, Jie, Lan, Zhenyun, Lin, Qingyun, Chen, Tao, Chen, Xing, Wei, Xiao, Lu, Yunhao, Li, Jixue, Zhang, Ze
Journal of materials science 2019 v.54 no.3 pp. 1967-1976
engineering, hydrogen production, nanocrystals, photocatalysis, photocatalysts, surface area
Facet engineering to expose specific surfaces has received rapid growth attention to promote the photocatalytic performance. In this work, we reported that BaZrO₃ nanocrystals with {001}/{011} facets and corresponding higher reducing capacity could effectively improve the photocatalytic hydrogen evolution in pure water. The tuned electronic band structure arising from exposed specific {001}/{011} facets and the higher surface area are the main reasons to promote photocatalytic activity. The conduction band bottom for BaZrO₃ nanocrystals with {001}/{011} facets synthesized by solvothermal method (denoted as BZO-HT) is about 0.31 eV higher than that of sample prepared by hydrothermal reaction (denoted as BZO-H). During the evaluation of photocatalytic activity in pure water, the H₂ production rate for BZO-HT (27.80 μmol/g/h) is 9.4 times and six times higher than BZO-H and commercial BaZrO₃ (denoted as BZO-C), respectively. This work provides a reference for other facets-related photocatalysts’ design for pure water reduction or splitting.