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Semiconductor-based heterojunctions have been shown to be effective photocatalytic materials to overcome the drawbacks of low photocatalytic efficiency that results from a high rate of electron−hole recombination and narrow photo-response range. In this paper, we report on the study of heterojunctions made from visible light active, graphitic carbon nitride, g-C3N4), and UV light active, strontium pyroniobate, Sr2Nb2O7. Heterojunctions made from a combination of g-C3N4 and nitrogen-doped Sr2Nb2O7 obtained at different temperatures were also studied to determine the effect of N doping. The photocatalytic performance was evaluated by using photocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER)from water g under visible light irradiation. It was found that the photocatalytic activities of as prepared heterojunctions are significantly higher than that of individual components under similar conditions. Heterojunction formed from g-C3N4 and N-doped Sr2Nb2O7 at 700°C (CN/SNON-700) showed better performance than heterojunction made from g-C3N4 and Sr2Nb2O7 (CN/SNO). A plausible mechanism for the heterojunction enhanced photocatalytic activity is proposed based on, relative band positions, and photoluminescence data.
Composite photocatalysts comprised of two semiconducting oxides, with suitable band gaps and band positions, have been reported as an effective approach to enhance photocatalytic activity in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Here, we report the synthesis, characterization, and photocatalytic evaluations of semiconducting composites made by combing bismuth oxide with either tantalum oxynitride or tantalum nitride. Visible light active composites were synthesized using solution chemistry synthesis method. The composites were characterized by powder X- ray diffraction (PXRD), diffuse reflectance UV-Vis spectroscopy, and photoluminescence (PL). Their photocatalytic activities were evaluated for generation of hydrogen from an aqueous methanol solution under visible light irradiation (λ≥ 420 nm). The as-prepared composite catalysts are found to have longer photogenerated charge-carrier life time, resulting in enhanced photocatalytic activities.
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