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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Apr 18;134(15):6575-8. doi: 10.1021/ja302846n. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Synergetic effect of MoS2 and graphene as cocatalysts for enhanced photocatalytic H2 production activity of TiO2 nanoparticles.

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State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Material Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, 122 Luoshi Road, Wuhan 430070, PR China.


The production of H(2) by photocatalytic water splitting has attracted a lot attention as a clean and renewable solar H(2) generation system. Despite tremendous efforts, the present great challenge in materials science is to develop highly active photocatalysts for splitting of water at low cost. Here we report a new composite material consisting of TiO(2) nanocrystals grown in the presence of a layered MoS(2)/graphene hybrid as a high-performance photocatalyst for H(2) evolution. This composite material was prepared by a two-step simple hydrothermal process using sodium molybdate, thiourea, and graphene oxide as precursors of the MoS(2)/graphene hybrid and tetrabutylorthotitanate as the titanium precursor. Even without a noble-metal cocatalyst, the TiO(2)/MoS(2)/graphene composite reaches a high H(2) production rate of 165.3 μmol h(-1) when the content of the MoS(2)/graphene cocatalyst is 0.5 wt % and the content of graphene in this cocatalyst is 5.0 wt %, and the apparent quantum efficiency reaches 9.7% at 365 nm. This unusual photocatalytic activity arises from the positive synergetic effect between the MoS(2) and graphene components in this hybrid cocatalyst, which serve as an electron collector and a source of active adsorption sites, respectively. This study presents an inexpensive photocatalyst for energy conversion to achieve highly efficient H(2) evolution without noble metals.


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