Boosting photocatalytic activity in ternary lamellar hierarchical structured ZnFe2O4/polymeric carbon nitride by constructing an electronic bridge

Youhai Zhao, Zishuang Guo, Yucheng Wang, Martin Birkett, Xiao Xiang, Chengang Zhang, Yaran Jin, Guangbo Che*, Haiwang Wang*, Chunbo Liu*, Terence Xiaoteng Liu*, Jian Qi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photocatalytic technology is one of the ideal approaches for clean energy production and environmental pollution control in the future. However, the rapid recombination of photo-generated charge carriers is a bottleneck problem of low solar energy conversion efficiency. Herein, a magnetic ZnFe2O4/Pt/polymeric carbon nitride (PCN) semiconductor catalyst is designed and prepared for high-performance photocatalytic hydrogen production reaction and photocatalytic degradation rate of RhB. It exhibits 339.31 μmol · g−1 · h−1 hydrogen production rate and 96.08 % photocatalytic degradation rate of RhB within 120 min under visible light. The introduction of Pt, constructing an electronic bridge, accelerated the transfer of photo-generated carriers, meanwhile, the smaller band gap of the ternary composites enabled the generation of more photo-generated electrons. The internal electric field accelerated the accumulation of electrons and holes in the conduction band of ZnFe2O4 and valence band of PCN, thus photocatalytic activity is greatly enhanced. The electron-hole separation is also improved and the transport of photo-generated electrons is facilitated by the special structure of the heterojunction and the unique morphology of PCN. In addition, the used catalyst can be recovered through magnetic fields, and this magnetic catalytic system has great application prospects in the fields of photocatalytic hydrogen production and pollutant degradation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112974
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number3
Early online date6 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2024

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