DOI: 10.3390/nano14060492 ISSN: 2079-4991

Efficient Zinc Vanadate Homojunction with Cadmium Nanostructures for Photocatalytic Water Splitting and Hydrogen Evolution

Imran Hasan, Adel El Marghany, Naaser A. Y. Abduh, Fahad A. Alharthi
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemical Engineering

Construction of a homojunction is an effective strategy for effective charge transfer to suppress charge carrier recombination in augmented photocatalysis. The present work reveals the synthesis of homojunction formation through the reinforcement of Cd nanostructures into a solid lattice of zinc vanadate (Zn3V2O8, ZnV) using the hydrothermal method. The formation of a homojunction between cadmium vanadate (CdV, Cd3V2O8) and ZnV was confirmed by various spectroscopic and electron microscopic techniques such as Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) associated with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) mapping, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometry (UV–Vis). The synthesized material was explored for photocatalytic hydrogen (PC H2) production using the water splitting process under visible-light illumination. The spectroscopic and experimental results revealed that the formation of a CdV/ZnV homojunction significantly improved the transport of photogenerated charge carriers (electron–hole pairs) and thus resulted in enhanced H2 production efficiency (366.34 μmol g−1 h−1) as compared to pristine ZnV (229.09 μmol g−1 h−1) and CdV (274.91 μmol g−1 h−1) using methanol as a sacrificial reagent (SR) with water under visible-light illumination. The synergistic effect of Cd on ZnV NPs resulted in band gap reduction and broadened visible light absorption which was attributed to enhanced H2 production. The current study explains how a homojunction affects various features of important factors behind photocatalytic activity, which supports significant insights into the advancement of materials in the future.

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