Zinc type photocatalysts attract great attentions in solar hydrogen production due to their easy availability and benign environmental characteristics. Spherical ZnS particles are synthesized with a facile hydrothermal method, and they are further used as core materials to introduce ZnO shell layer surrounding the core part by partial oxidation under controlled oxygen contents. The resulting ZnS core-ZnO shell photocatalysts represent the heterostructural type II band alignment. The existence of oxide layer also influences on proton adsorption power with an aid of strong base cites derived from highly electronegative oxygen atoms in ZnO shell layer. Photocatalytic water splitting reaction is performed to evaluate catalyst efficiency under standard one sun condition, and the highest hydrogen evolution rate (1665 μmolg−1h−1) is achieved from the sample oxidized at 16.2 kPa oxygen pressure. This highest hydrogen production rate is achieved in cooperation with increased light absorption and promoted charge separations. Photoluminescence analysis reveals that the improved visible light response is obtained after thermal oxidation process due to the oxygen vacancy states in the ZnO shell layer. Therefore, overall photocatalytic efficiency in solar hydrogen production is enhanced by improved charge separations, crystallinity, and visible light responses from the ZnS core-ZnO shell structures induced by thermal oxidation.
Journal of Power Sources – Elsevier
Published: Jun 15, 2018
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