Construction of 0D/2D Schottky Heterojunctions of ZnO and Ti3C2 Nanosheets with the Enriched Transfer of Interfacial Charges for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution

The development of cost-effective co-catalysts of high photocatalytic activity and recyclability is still a challenge in the energy transformation domain. In this study, 0D/2D Schottky heterojunctions, consisting of 0D ZnO and 2D Ti3C2, were successfully synthesized by the electrostatic self-assembling of ZnO nanoparticles on Ti3C2 nanosheets. In constructing these heterojunctions, Ti3C2 nanosheets acted as a co-catalyst for enhancing the transfer of excitons and their separation to support the photocatalytic response of ZnO. The as-prepared ZnO/Ti3C2 composites demonstrate an abbreviated charge transit channel, a huge interfacial contact area and the interfacial electrons’ transport potential. The extended optical response and large reactive area of the ZnO/Ti3C2 composite promoted the formation of excitons and reactive sites on the photocatalyst’s surface. The ZnO/Ti3C2 Schottky heterojunction showed significantly high photocatalytic activity for hydrogen production from a water–ethanol solution under the light illumination in the visible region. The hydrogen evolution overoptimized the ZnO/Ti3C2 composition with 30 wt.% of Ti3C2, which was eight times higher than the pristine ZnO. These findings can be helpful in developing 0D/2D heterojunction systems for photocatalytic applications by utilizing Ti3C2 as a low-cost co-catalyst.

» Author: Muhammad Irfan

» Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma15134557

» Publication Date: 28/06/2022

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 768737


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