Cu3 MS4 (M=V, Nb, Ta) and its Solid Solutions with Sulvanite Structure for Photocatalytic and Photoelectrochemical H2 Evolution under Visible-Light Irradiation

ChemSusChem. 2019 May 8;12(9):1977-1983. doi: 10.1002/cssc.201802702. Epub 2019 Feb 15.


Solid solutions with of Cu3 VS4 with either Cu3 NbS4 or Cu3 TaS4 (Cu3 Nb1-x Vx S4 or Cu3 Ta1-x Vx S4 ) were prepared by a solid-state reaction and adopted a sulvanite structure. Their band gaps were 1.6-1.7 eV corresponding to the absorption of a wide range of visible light. Ru cocatalyst-loaded Cu3 MS4 (M=V, Nb, Ta), Cu3 Nb1-x Vx S4 , and Cu3 Ta1-x Vx S4 showed photocatalytic activities for sacrificial H2 evolution under visible-light irradiation. Most solid solutions showed better activities than the single-component Cu3 MS4 (M=V, Nb, Ta). Cu3 MS4 (M=V, Nb), Cu3 Nb1-x Vx S4 , and Cu3 Ta1-x Vx S4 also functioned as photoelectrodes and gave cathodic photocurrents under visible-light irradiation, indicating a p-type semiconductor character. Cu3 Nb0.9 V0.1 S4 showed the best photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical performances. When Ru-loaded Cu3 Nb0.9 V0.1 S4 was used as a photocathode with a CoOx -loaded BiVO4 photoanode, photoelectrochemical water splitting proceeded under simulated sunlight irradiation without an external bias.

Keywords: energy conversion; heterogeneous catalysis; hydrogen evolution; photocatalysis; water splitting.