Energy demand and pollution due to urbanization and industrialization are calling for clean energies such as dihydrogen (H2) obtained by water splitting. For that, zinc telluride is a promising semiconductor having a narrow bandgap that can absorb a large amount of visible light and promotes the separation of charge carriers. Here, we prepared a 1D hollow tubular graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) composite (h-CN) by a precipitation using melamine as a precursor. Results show that composite produces higher yields of dihydrogen, of 11,188 μmol g−1 h−1, than with ZnTe, of 8331 μmol g−1 h−1, and with h-CN, of 1012 μmol g−1 h−1. Furthermore, the new modified heterojunction displays quantum efficiency of about 17.1% at 420 nm, which is much higher than for h-CN, of 0.87%, and for ZnTe, of 7.29%. Higher performances are explained by reducing the charge recombination and increasing the transfer of electrons by creating a strong p-n heterojunction. An advantage of the new photocatalyst is that it does not require an expensive noble metal.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51978569, 51908458), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2019M650264).
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Nasir, M.S., Yang, G., Ayub, I. et al. Higher hydrogen production by photocatalytic water splitting using a hollow tubular graphitic carbon nitride-zinc telluride composite. Environ Chem Lett 20, 19–26 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10311-021-01301-z