Hierarchical carbon quantum dots/hydrogenated-γ-TaON heterojunctions for broad spectrum photocatalytic performance

Jungang Hou, Huijie Cheng, Chao Yang, Osamu Takeda, Hongmin Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


There remains a pressing challenge in the efficient utilization of broad spectrum solar energy in the photocatalytic applications. Here we design and fabricate carbon quantum dots/hydrogenated-γ-TaON (CQDs/H-γ-TaON) hollow urchin heterojunctions that can enhance the UV-visible-NIR broad spectrum active photocatalytic property. Novel CQDs/H-γ-TaON photocatalysts have harnessed UV, visible, and near-infrared light to decompose organic contaminants in aqueous solution. Moreover, efficient photocatalytic hydrogen production as high as 496.5μmolh-1 with an apparent quantum efficiency of 12.2% under 420nm (about 61 times higher than that of conventional TaON) was achieved over CQDs/H-γ-TaON heterojunction, corresponding the order of hydrogen production rate: CQDs/H-γ-TaON>H-γ-TaON>γ-TaON. The improved UV and visible photocatalytic property can be attributed to high surface area from hollow nanostructures and efficient charge transfer based photoluminescence, electrochemical impedance and Mott-Schottky analysis. Especially, the NIR photocatalytic activity from the synergistic effects of the hydrogenation and the decoration of CQDs is ascribed to the efficient charge separation and transfer and up-converted photoluminescence property of CQDs that absorb NIR light and convert into visible light and transfer to visible-light photocatalytic H-γ-TaON. The CQDs/H-γ-TaON heterojunctions may open up more opportunities in the design of efficient broad spectrum active photocatalysts for environmental remediation and clean energy generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 1


  • Carbon quantum dots
  • Heterojunctions
  • Hydrogenation
  • Photocatalysts
  • TaON


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