Hydrothermal synthesis of CdS/CdLa 2S 4 heterostructures for efficient visible-light-driven photocatalytic hydrogen production

Jungang Hou, Chao Yang, Zheng Wang, Shuqiang Jiao, Hongmin Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Large-scale hydrogen production through water splitting using photocatalysts with solar energy can potentially produce clean fuel from renewable resources. In this work, photocatalytic hydrogen evolution with a high efficiency was achieved using CdS nanocrystal decorated CdLa 2S 4 microspheres (CdS/CdLa 2S 4) successfully prepared by a two-step hydrothermal process. The obtained CdS/CdLa 2S 4 composite was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron microscopy (EM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV-vis diffuse reflectance absorption spectroscopy (DRS), and photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL). XRD demonstrated that highly crystalline hexagonal CdS was obtained in CdS/CdLa 2S 4. EM results revealed that CdLa 2S 4 microspheres assembled from a large number of nanoprisms, were intimately enwrapped by the surrounding CdS nanocrystals with a particle size below 20 nm. This unique architecture resulted in the appropriate dispersion of CdS nanocrystals and intimate multipoint contacts between the CdS nanocrystals and CdLa 2S 4, which led to significant enhancement of charge separation in CdS/CdLa 2S 4. Especially, the CdLa 2S 4 microspheres decorated with 3 wt% CdS nanocrystals containing 0.4 wt% of Pt showed a high rate of H 2-production at 2.25 mmol h -1 with an apparent quantum efficiency of 54% under 420 nm monochromatic light. The rate of hydrogen evolution from water splitting was 9 times faster in comparison with the rate observed on pure CdLa 2S 4, which is ascribed to the presence of CdS nanocrystals that alter the energy levels of the conduction and valence bands in the coupled semiconductor system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10330-10336
Number of pages7
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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