2D/2D Z-scheme-based α-Fe2O3 @NGr heterojunction implanted with Pt single-atoms for remarkable photocatalytic hydrogen evolution

Vandung Dao, Luis A. Cipriano, Sang Woo Ki, Sunny Yadav, Wenmeng Wang, Giovanni Di Liberto, Kai Chen, Hoki Son, Jin Kyu Yang, Gianfranco Pacchioni, In Hwan Lee

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Direct Z-scheme designs perform well in light-to-fuel conversion. Here, an active and stable ternary Z-scheme core-shell heterojunction for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution (PHE) is fabricated consisting of hexagonal 2D α-Fe2O3 (as photocatalyst II) and 2D nitrogen-doped graphene (NGr as photocatalyst I) functionalized with the Pt single-atoms (SAs) cocatalyst. Under visible light, the 2D/2D α-Fe2O3 @NGr3[sbnd]PtSAs (NGr shell thickness of 3 nm and Pt loading of 0.5 wt%) achieves a remarkable PHE of 6.4 µmol mgcat−1 h–1, which is 16.4- and 3.28-times higher than those of free NGr (0.39 µmol mgcat−1 h–1) and binary α-Fe2O3 @NGr3 (1.95 µmol mgcat−1 h–1), thus outperforming the currently-advanced PHE catalysts. The outstanding performance is due to the superiority of a direct 2D/2D Z-scheme core-shell fabrication, including a large surface area for light harvesting, facile charge separation and transfer, and the workability of Pt SAs sites. Theoretical investigations provide additional insight into the mechanistic process of the ternary system for PHE reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122586
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF ) grant funded by the Korea government ( MSIT ) ( 2021M3H4A1A02051284 , 2022R1A2C1010895 , 2020R1A2C1014498 ), and the Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program ( 20019235 , Deformable and Immersive Volumetric AR Glass) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy ( MOTIE , Korea). LAC, GDL, and GP acknowledge the financial support from the Italian Ministry of University and Research ( MUR ) through the PRIN Project 20179337R7 and the access to the CINECA supercomputing resources via ISCRAB.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • 2D/2D core-shell
  • Direct Z-scheme
  • Hematite
  • Nitrogen-doped graphene
  • Photocatalytic hydrogen evolution
  • Single-atoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Environmental Science
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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