American Chemical Society
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Defective ZnIn2S4 Nanosheets for Visible-Light and Sacrificial-Agent-Free H2O2 Photosynthesis via O2/H2O Redox

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-07, 15:05 authored by Huiping Peng, Hongcen Yang, Jiajia Han, Xiaozhi Liu, Dong Su, Tang Yang, Shangheng Liu, Chih-Wen Pao, Zhiwei Hu, Qiaobao Zhang, Yong Xu, Hongbo Geng, Xiaoqing Huang
H2O2 photosynthesis has attracted great interest in harvesting and converting solar energy to chemical energy. Nevertheless, the high-efficiency process of H2O2 photosynthesis is driven by the low H2O2 productivity due to the recombination of photogenerated electron–hole pairs, especially in the absence of a sacrificial agent. In this work, we demonstrate that ultrathin ZnIn2S4 nanosheets with S vacancies (Sv-ZIS) can serve as highly efficient catalysts for H2O2 photosynthesis via O2/H2O redox. Mechanism studies confirm that Sv in ZIS can extend the lifetimes of photogenerated carriers and suppress their recombination, which triggers the O2 reduction and H2O oxidation to H2O2 through radical initiation. Theoretical calculations suggest that the formation of Sv can strongly change the coordination structure of ZIS, modulating the adsorption abilities to intermediates and avoiding the overoxidation of H2O to O2 during O2/H2O redox, synergistically promoting 2e O2 reduction and 2e H2O oxidation for ultrahigh H2O2 productivity. The optimal catalyst displays a H2O2 productivity of 1706.4 μmol g–1 h–1 under visible-light irradiation without a sacrificial agent, which is ∼29 times higher than that of pristine ZIS (59.4 μmol g–1 h–1) and even much higher than those of reported photocatalysts. Impressively, the apparent quantum efficiency is up to 9.9% at 420 nm, and the solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency reaches ∼0.81%, significantly higher than the value for natural synthetic plants (∼0.10%). This work provides a facile strategy to separate the photogenerated electron–hole pairs of ZIS for H2O2 photosynthesis, which may promote fundamental research on solar energy harvest and conversion.