Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Vol.242, 389-396, 2019
Design of plasmonic CuCo bimetal as a nonsemiconductor photocatalyst for synchronized hydrogen evolution and storage
Solar-driven hydrogen evolution with sustainable energy sources, which require earth-abundant, robust and efficient photocatalysts for fuel production, is highly desirable. Here, we propose an alternative promising configuration of a dendrite-like plasmonic CuCo bimetal as a nonsemiconductor photocatalyst, which exhibits exceptional photocatalytic activities for H-2 evolution (77.1 mu mol g(-1) h(-1)) under sunlight irradiation without a sacrificial agent. Notably, a certain amount of hydrogen evolved by photocatalytic water splitting was conserved by the photocatalyst at room temperature, demonstrating that the integration of hydrogen evolution and storage was realized in this device. Electrons were produced by the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect of the Cu component in CuCo bimetal, and Co nanosheets were grown in situ on the surface of Cu, which can facilitate the transfer of photoinduced charge as a cocatalyst. Specifically, the photocatalyst shows excellent chemical stability with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction characterization after four consecutive cycles over a total of 20 h. This work provides insights into a plasmonic nonsemiconductor photocatalytic system in the hydrogen energy field.