H2 Production Increased by Doping

H2 Production Increased by Doping

Author: ChemistryViews

Alberto Gasparotto and colleagues, Padova University, Italy, have made p-type Co3O4 nanostructured films for the photocatalytic production of H2. The team applied fluoride anion doping to the semiconducting Co3O4 films. Anion doping is common in n-type semiconductors, but rare in p-type and has never been reported for photoassisted H2 production.

The films were tested in water/ethanol solutions under both near-UV and solar irradiation. F-doped Co3O4 showed a five-fold H2 yield increase with respect to the corresponding undoped oxide upon near-UV irradiation. The H2 yields per gram of catalyst are among the best reported so far for semiconductor-based photocatalytic processes. The high activity was predominately attributed to replacement of surface −OH groups by F, leading to more free OH• radicals in the liquid-phase. This results in faster ethanol oxidation and concomitant enhancement of the H+ to H2 reduction.

Under simulated solar light, doped Co3O4 showed no decrease in H2 evolution after 20 h of irradiation. This time stability makes this material a very attractive photocatalyst.


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