Single-atom cobalt-incorporating carbon nitride for photocatalytic solar hydrogen conversion: An X-ray spectromicroscopy study

Yu Cheng Huang, Jie Chen, Ying Rui Lu, K. Thanigai Arul, Takuji Ohigashi, Jeng Lung Chen, Chi Liang Chen, Shaohua Shen*, Wu Ching Chou, Way Faung Pong, Chung Li Dong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of carbon nitride-based materials and light to drive catalytic water splitting has enormous potential for the production of hydrogen. Revealing the processes of molecular conjugation, nucleation, and crystallization in crystalline carbon nitride is expected to enhance the photocatalytic activity through the creation of isotype heterojunctions and active sites. In this work, the addition of cobalt salts in ionothermal synthesis was found to promote the phase transition of heptazine-based crystalline carbon nitride (CCN) to triazine-based poly (triazine imide) (PTI), resulting in the formation of a single-atom cobalt-doped coordinated isotype CCN/PTI heterojunction. The new hybrid orbital modulates the atomic/electronic structure and the band gap of the CCN/PTI heterojunction, and synergistically increases the absorption of visible light, accelerating the separation and transfer of photoexcited electrons and holes. Synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopy and microscopy are used to identify the origin of the improved performance of the single-atom cobalt-doped CCN/PTI heterojunction in the photocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction. This work demonstrates that synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy is a promising tool for designing materials aimed at enhancing photocatalytic activity in solar energy conversion applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147319
JournalJournal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena
Volume264
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Carbon nitride
  • Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM)
  • Single-atom catalysts
  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS)

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