Two-dimensional Sn2Ta2O7 nanosheets as efficient visible light-driven photocatalysts for hydrogen evolution

Abstract

Two-dimensional Sn2Ta2O7 nanosheets with a thickness of ~ 10 nm were successfully prepared through a novel tantalic acid-based solid-state reaction method at reduced temperature. The as-obtained samples were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) diffuse reflectance spectra, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis. The photocatalytic performance of Sn2Ta2O7 nanosheets was evaluated by photocatalytic water splitting for hydrogen evolution under visible light irradiation (λ ≥ 400 nm). The Sn2Ta2O7 nanosheets with a large surface area of 25.9 m2·g−1 showed higher H2 production activity, which was about 4.4 times higher than that of bulk Sn2Ta2O7 in lactic acid aqueous solutions using Pt as a co-catalyst. The improved photocatalytic performance mainly benefited from the nanosheet structure, which provided abundant surface active sites and facilitated the photogenerated charge carrier separation efficiently. This work may open up new opportunity to develop novel nanostructured tantalum-based semiconductors with improved catalytic performance for solar energy conversion.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Nos. 2017YFA0206904, 2017YFA0206900 and 2016YFB0600901), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51825205, U1662118, 51772305, 51572270, 21871279 and 21802154), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDB17000000), the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No. 2182078), the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Project (No. Z181100005118007), the Royal Society-Newton Advanced Fellowship (No. NA170422), the International Partnership Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. GJHZ1819) and the K. C. Wong Education Foundation.

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Correspondence to Qin-Qin Liu or Tie-Rui Zhang.

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Wang, XS., Zhou, C., Shi, R. et al. Two-dimensional Sn2Ta2O7 nanosheets as efficient visible light-driven photocatalysts for hydrogen evolution. Rare Met. 38, 397–403 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12598-019-01212-7

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Keywords

  • Sn2Ta2O7
  • Nanosheets
  • Visible light
  • Photocatalysis
  • Hydrogen evolution