Metals free MWCNTs@TiO 2 @MMT heterojunction composite with MMT as a mediator for fast charges separation towards visible light driven photocatalytic hydrogen evolution

Muhammad Umer, Muhammad Tahir, Muhammad Usman Azam, Mohammad Musaab Jaffar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Constructing heterojunctions with low-cost materials functional under solar energy is an important way for efficient hydrogen production for energy management applications. In this study, multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) modified TiO 2 1D/0D heterojunction dispersed in 2D montmorillonite (MMT) nanoclay was designed and fabricated using a facile sol-gel and wet impregnation approach. The samples were characterized by XRD, Raman, FESEM, HRTEM, FTIR, UV–vis and PL-spectroscopy techniques. Dispersing 1D/0D MWCNTs/TiO 2 on the 2D MMT structure extends visible light absorption, shorten charges migration distance and provides abundant active sites. The performance of samples was investigated for dynamic photocatalytic H 2 evolution with different sacrificial reagents under visible light irradiations. The MWCNTs/TiO 2 /MMT heterojunction composite exhibits the highest H 2 evolution rate of 1888 ppm h −1 , which is about 1.49, 3.07 and 7.12 folds higher than MWCNTs/TiO 2 , MMT/TiO 2 and pure TiO 2 samples, respectively. Among the different sacrificial reagents, highest H 2 production was obtained using glycerol-water mixture due to the presence of α-hydrogen atoms attached to carbon atoms. Next, the photocatalytic turn-over productivity (PTOP) was estimated which demonstrated the molecular H 2 production rate with the photon-energy utilization. The maximum PTOP for H 2 production was achieved over MWCNTs/TiO 2 /MMT heterojunction composite, 5.94 times higher than using bare TiO 2 NPs. The improved charges efficiency due to the synergistic effect between MWCNTs/TiO 2 /MMT in 1D/OD/2D heterojunctions is critical for enhanced and dynamic H 2 evolution. The ternary composite exhibited excellent and stable performance for H 2 production. This study suggests that constructing heterojunction of low cost coupling materials with TiO 2 can provide an efficient way for H 2 production under solar energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-757
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume463
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Heterojunction
  • Montmorillonite nanoclay
  • MWCNTs/TiO
  • Photocatalytic H evolution
  • Photocatalytic turnover productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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