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A novel architecture of dandelion-like Mo₂C/TiO₂ heterojunction photocatalysts towards high-performance photocatalytic hydrogen production from water splitting

Yue, Xinzheng, Yi, Shasha, Wang, Runwei, Zhang, Zongtao, Qiu, Shilun
Journal of materials chemistry A 2017 v.5 no.21 pp. 10591-10598
active sites, durability, hydrogen, hydrogen production, nanoparticles, photocatalysis, photocatalysts, photoluminescence, titanium dioxide
In the development of photocatalytic hydrogen (H₂) production, designing and optimizing photocatalyst nanostructures with efficient charge transfer and separation for catalytically active sites are still a great challenge. Herein, a well-controlled synthetic strategy is developed to prepare an Mo₂C/TiO₂ hetero-nanostructure, in which the TiO₂ 3D hierarchical configuration is loaded with highly dispersed Mo₂C nanoparticles. This heterostructure achieves the excellent photocatalytic activity of 39.4 mmol h⁻¹ g⁻¹ with its rate ∼25 times higher than that of pristine TiO₂. Also, our photocatalysts process excellent long-term durability (>20 h). The impressive photocatalytic H₂ activity of Mo₂C/TiO₂ indicates favourable charge carrier dynamics, as determined by the results of photoluminescence (PL), time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL), surface photovoltage (SPV), and open circuit potential (OCP) decay curves. Moreover, this study provides a guide for researchers to design new functional materials with excellent hydrogen production activity.