Rational design of photocatalyst with wide solar-spectrum absorption, negligible electron-hole recombination, and maximized redox potential is an essential prerequisite for achieving commercial-scale photocatalytic H2 production. This contribution combines surface plasmon resonance and Z-scheme charge transport in a single photocatalyst (Ag-ZnO-CeO2 heterostructure) aiming to improve its performance for photocatalytic H2 production. The Ag-ZnO-CeO2 heterostructure is fabricated via sunlight-driven combustion and deposition approaches. The successful construction is confirmed by several characterization techniques. The Z-scheme configuration is verified by in situ irradiated XPS and ESR analyses. Ag plays dual rules as an electron mediator to facilitate the Z-scheme charge transport and plasmonic material to maximize the light absorption in the visible region. The designed photocatalyst exhibits significantly enhanced photocatalytic activity for H2 production (18345 μmol h−1 g−1) under simulated sunlight irradiation. This work offers the opportunity of constructing efficient Z-scheme photocatalyst from wide bandgap semiconductors with full-visible light response, suppressed electron-hole recombination, and optimized redox potential.
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films