Res. Chem. Intermed.
, Vol. 33, No. 1–2, pp. 13–25 (2007)
Also available online - www.brill.nl/rci
Visible-light-driven photocatalytic behavior of
tantalum-oxynitride and nitride
, G. HITOKI
, J.N. KONDO
, H. KOBAYASHI
Chemical Resources Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nagatsuta 4259, Midori-ku,
Yokohama 226-8503, Japan
Department of Chemical Technology, College of Science and Industrial Technology, Kurashiki
University of Science and the Arts, Nishinoura 2640, Tsurajima, Kurashiki 712-8505, Japan
Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology
Agency (JST), Tokyo, Japan
Received 18 September 2003; accepted 9 January 2004
Abstract—Tantalum oxynitride (TaON) and tantalum nitride (Ta
) are investigated in detail as
visible-light-responsive photocatalysts. It is found that TaON and Ta
gap excitation in the presence of a sacriﬁcial electron donor or acceptor, respectively. These materials
exhibit high stability against photo-corrosion under the reaction conditions for H
Structural and physical properties of these photocatalysts were also investigated in detail.
Keywords: Photocatalyst; tantalum (oxy)nitride; water splitting.
Alternatives to fossil-fuel-based energy sources are being aggressively researched in
order to establish new energy systems for the 21st century. Sunlight is the alternative
energy source with perhaps the most potential, and the development of efﬁcient
sunlight-energy storage systems is an important subject in the ﬁelds of science and
technology. Photocatalytic decomposition of water is one process that has great
potential for the conversion of photon energy to chemical energy in the form of
hydrogen. Current interests are directed toward the development of photocatalysts
that function under visible-light irradiation in order to utilize sunlight efﬁciently.
However, no photocatalysts suitable for practical application have been devised to
To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: email@example.com