Science China Materials

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 861–868 | Cite as

Novel Cu3P/g-C3N4 p-n heterojunction photocatalysts for solar hydrogen generation

  • Zhixiao Qin (秦知校)
  • Menglong Wang (王朦胧)
  • Rui Li (李锐)
  • Yubin Chen (陈玉彬)Email author


Developing efficient heterostructured photocatalysts to accelerate charge separation and transfer is crucial to improving photocatalytic hydrogen generation using solar energy. Herein, we report for the first time that p-type copper phosphide (Cu3P) coupled with n-type graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) forms a p-n junction to accelerate charge separation and transfer for enhanced photocatalytic activity. The optimized Cu3P/g-C3N4 p-n heterojunction photocatalyst exhibits 95 times higher activity than bare g-C3N4, with an apparent quantum efficiency of 2.6% at 420 nm. A detail analysis of the reaction mechanism by photoluminescence, surface photovoltaics and electrochemical measurements revealed that the improved photocatalytic activity can be ascribed to efficient separation of photo-induced charge carriers. This work demonstrates that p-n junction structure is a useful strategy for developing efficient heterostructured photocatalysts.


photocatalysis copper phosphide p-n junction heterostructure hydrogen production 



开发高效的异质结光催化剂促进电荷的分离和转移对提高太阳能光催化产氢性能至关重要. 本文采用p型的磷化铜和n型的氮化碳形成p-n结来促进电荷分离和转移, 从而提高光催化产氢性能. 与纯的氮化碳相比, 磷化铜/氮化碳p-n异质结光催化剂的产氢性能提高了95倍, 在420纳米处的量子效率达到2.6%. 我们通过荧光光谱, 表面光电压谱以及电化学测试进一步分析反应机理, 发现显著提高的光催化产氢性能应归因于p-n异质结光催化剂中高效的电荷分离. 本研究表明形成p-n异质结是开发高效光催化剂的一种有效途径.



The authors thank the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21606175), the grant support from the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2014M560768), and the China Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (xjj2015041).

Supplementary material

40843_2017_9171_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (250 kb)
Novel Cu3P/g-C3N4 p-n heterojunction photocatalysts for solar hydrogen generation


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhixiao Qin (秦知校)
    • 1
  • Menglong Wang (王朦胧)
    • 1
  • Rui Li (李锐)
    • 1
  • Yubin Chen (陈玉彬)
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.International Research Center for Renewable Energy, State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityShaanxiChina

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