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Decoration of Isolated Platinum Atoms onto the Surface Step of CdS Nanowires Improves Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution Performance

Photocatalytic water splitting into hydrogen has been considered as an elegant strategy to realize renewable energy sources with zero-pollution emissions. Platinum (Pt), is generally believed as most efficient co-catalyst for hydrogen evolution. Reducing the size of precious metals to isolated atom affords an ideal approach to realize the maximum atom efficiency.

However, constructing atomically isolated catalysts remains challenging for the easy aggregation of metal atoms either during the processes of synthesis or the subsequent treatments.

Recently, Team of Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry at State Key Laboratory of Structural Chemistry, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, CAS, led by Prof. ZHANG Jian, has successfully realized the decoration of isolated platinum atoms onto the surface step of CdS nanowires, generating a greatly enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution performance.The study was published in Nano Energy.

The single-atom co-catalyst with high stability can significantly boost electron-hole separation efficiency in chromophore units. It exhibits significantly enhanced hydrogen evolution performance, which is nearly to 7.69 times higher that of Pt-NP-CdS and 63.77 times that of bare CdS NWs, representing an emerging and greatly efficient photocatalytic system for hydrogen evolution.

Directional migrations of photogenerated excitons from the conduction band of CdS to catalytic platinum centers have been witnessed by transient absorption spectroscopy, leading to the supply of long-lived electrons for highly efficient photocatalytic hydrogen evolution.

Density functional theory calculations further confirm that the excellent catalytic performance is associated with positively charged platinum sites with partially vacant 5d orbitals, which change distribution of charge density and facilitate higher excited carrier density.



The isolated Pt atoms on the surface step of CdS for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution.(Image by Prof. ZHANG’s group)



Prof. ZHANG Jian

Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter

Chinese Academy of Sciences






Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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