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Solar light-driven photocatalytic hydrogen evolution over ZnIn2S4 loaded with transition-metal sulfides

Shaohua Shen12, Xiaobo Chen2, Feng Ren2, Coleman X Kronawitter2, Samuel S Mao2* and Liejin Guo1*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710049, China

2 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:290  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-290

Published: 5 April 2011


A series of Pt-loaded MS/ZnIn2S4 (MS = transition-metal sulfide: Ag2S, SnS, CoS, CuS, NiS, and MnS) photocatalysts was investigated to show various photocatalytic activities depending on different transition-metal sulfides. Thereinto, CoS, NiS, or MnS-loading lowered down the photocatalytic activity of ZnIn2S4, while Ag2S, SnS, or CuS loading enhanced the photocatalytic activity. After loading 1.0 wt.% CuS together with 1.0 wt.% Pt on ZnIn2S4, the activity for H2 evolution was increased by up to 1.6 times, compared to the ZnIn2S4 only loaded with 1.0 wt.% Pt. Here, transition-metal sulfides such as CuS, together with Pt, acted as the dual co-catalysts for the improved photocatalytic performance. This study indicated that the application of transition-metal sulfides as effective co-catalysts opened up a new way to design and prepare high-efficiency and low-cost photocatalysts for solar-hydrogen conversion.