Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.586, 785-796, 2021
Superior photoelectrocatalytic performance of ternary structural BiVO4/GQD/g-C3N4 heterojunction
Herein, we performed an encyclopedic analysis on the photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen production of BiVO4/g-C3N4 decorated with reduced graphene oxide (RGO) or graphene quantum dots (GQDs). The differences between RGO and GQDs as an electron mediator was revealed for the first time in the perspective of theoretical DFT analysis and experimental validation. It was found that the incorporation of GQDs as an electron mediator promotes better photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen performance in comparison to the RGO. The addition of GQD can significantly improve the activity by 25.2 and 75.7% in comparison to the BiVO4/RGO/g-C(3)N(4 )and binary composite samples, respectively. Correspondingly, the BiVO4/GQD/g-C3N4 attained the highest photocurrent density of 19.2 mA/cm(2) with an ABPE of 0.57% without the presence of any sacrificial reagents. This enhancement is stemming from the low photocharge carrier transfer resistance which was further verified via DFT study. The DFT analysis revealed that the BiVO4/GQD/g-C3N4 sample shared their electronic cloud density through orbital hybridization while the BiVO4/RGO/g-C(3)N(4 )sample show less mutual sharing. Additionally, the charge redistribution of the GQDs-composite at the heterostructure interface articulates a more stable and stronger heterojunction than the RGO-composite. Notably, this study provides new insights on the effect of different carbonaceous materials (RGO and GQDs) which are often used as an electron mediator to enhance photocatalytic activity. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.