Flower-like cobalt hydroxide/oxide on graphitic carbon nitride for visible-light-driven water oxidation
School of Engineering
Direct water oxidation via photocatalysis is a four-electron and multiple-proton process which requires high extra energy input to produce free dioxygen gas, making it exacting, especially under visible light irradiation. To improve the oxygen evolution reaction rates (OERs) and utilize more visible light, flower-like cobalt hydroxide/oxide (Fw-Co(OH)2/Fw-Co3O4) photocatalysts were prepared and loaded onto graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) by a facile coating method in this work. Influenced by the unique three-dimensional morphologies, the synthesized Fw-Co(OH)2 or Fw-Co3O4/g-C3N4 hybrids reveal favorable combination and synergism reflected by the modified photoelectric activities and the improved OER performances. Attributed to its prominent hydrotalcite structure, Fw-Co(OH)2 shows better cocatalytic activity for g-C3N4 modification compared with that of Fw-Co3O4. Specifically, 7 wt % Fw-Co(OH)2/g-C3N4 photocatalyst exhibits photocurrent density 4 times higher and OER performance 5 times better than pristine g-C3N4. This work unambiguously promotes the application of sustainable g-C3N4 in water oxidation.