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Janus Structures of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides as the Heterojunction Photocatalysts for Water Splitting

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-01-15, 00:00 authored by Yujin Ji, Mingye Yang, Haiping Lin, Tingjun Hou, Lu Wang, Youyong Li, Shuit-Tong Lee
The Janus structures of transition metal dichalcogenides with an intrinsic dipole have been proposed as efficient photocatalysts for water splitting, and successfully synthesized recently. However, the mechanism for their superior photocatalytic activities are not understood. Here, we systematically investigate the photocatalytic activities of Janus molybdenum dichalcogenides (MoXY, X/Y = O, S, Se, and Te), by studying their band gaps, redox energy levels and electrons and holes separation, by first-principles calculations. The intrinsic dipoles in the Janus structures cause notable band bending to achieve favorable band edge positions relative to water redox potentials, which makes the Janus structures as efficient heterojunction photocatalysts. Electrons and holes are spatially separated on different surfaces of the Janus structure due to the internal electric field, which effectively inhibits the recombination of excitons and ensures photocatalytic activity with high efficiency.

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