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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jun 6;134(22):9070-3. doi: 10.1021/ja302897b. Epub 2012 May 23.

α-Sulfur crystals as a visible-light-active photocatalyst.

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Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.


We show that in contrast to conventional compound photocatalysts, α-sulfur crystals of cyclooctasulfur (S(8)) are a visible-light-active elemental photocatalyst. The α-S crystals were found to have the ability not only to generate ·OH radicals but also to split water in a photoelectrochemical process under both UV-vis and visible-light irradiation. Although the absolute activity obtained was low because of the large particle size and poor hydrophilicity of the α-S crystals studied, there is great potential for increasing the activity with the assistance of known strategies such as surface modification, nanoscaling, doping, and coupling with other photocatalysts.


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