Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.571, 297-306, 2020
Embedding few-layer Ti3C2Tx into alkalized g-C3N4 nanosheets for efficient photocatalytic degradation
Solution of the increasingly important problem of aquatic pollution requires the use of an economical, energy-efficient, highly effective and environmentally-friendly catalyst. Polymeric carbon nitride (C3N4) has shown to be a promising metal-free photocatalyst that however suffers from strong charge recombination and poor conductivity, while MXenes have shown to be perfect co-catalysts for the photocatalytic process but show poor stability. In this study, we successfully constructed a robust heterostructure photocatalyst in which few-layer Ti3C2Tx was embedded into alkalized C3N4 without being oxidized. The photocatalyst showed stable and effective photocatalytic performance for the removal of tetracycline hydrochloride and other organic compounds under visible light irradiation. Different characterization methods were used to elucidate the morphology and structure of the asprepared photocatalyst. The robust heterostructure and the intimate interaction between the two constituents of the composite were verified. Based on the van der Waals heterostructure, Ti3C2Tx acts as the electron acceptor and helps to form Schottky junction, preventing charge recombination of the photocatalyst. And in the meantime, the electrons from C3N4 protect Ti3C2Tx from oxidation. SEM and XRD results demonstrated that the Ti3C2Tx structure remains unchanged after calcination and after photodegradation experiments. Furthermore, a possible mechanism for photocatalytic tetracycline hydrochloride degradation was proposed based on the results of radical scavenging experiments. This work provides a strategy to strengthen heterostructure between 2D materials, and shows that carbon nitride and Mxenes could be promising materials for photocatalytic wastewater pre-treatment applications. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.