Defect-rich N-doped CeO2supported by N-doped graphene as a metal-free plasmonic hydrogen evolution photocatalyst

Dung Van Dao, Hyun Dong Jung, Thuy T.D. Nguyen, Sang Woo Ki, Hoki Son, Kang Bin Bae, Thanh Duc Le, Yeong Hoon Cho, Jin Kyu Yang, Yeon Tae Yu, Seoin Back, In Hwan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Heteroatom doping into metal oxides advantageously modulates optoelectronic properties and provides promising possibilities for efficient light-to-energy conversion. Herein, nitrogen-doped ceria (N-CeO2) nanoparticles are prepared and then coupled with nitrogen-doped graphene (N-Gr) to create an active and long-lasting N-CeO2/N-Gr heterocatalyst. Optoelectronic features of N-doping materials (e.g., plasmon) are significantly improved toward the visible-light region, particularly for 3.9% N-CeO2/N-Gr nanocomposites. Namely, the 3.9% N-CeO2possesses numerous catalytic active defects (N states, oxygen vacancy, and Ce3+species), leading to a narrow bandgap energy and to the improved plasmonic properties of the ceria host, while the N-Gr preferably serves as an electron scavenger to collect plasmon-generated hot electrons migrating from 3.9% N-CeO2to drive photocatalytic reactions under the irradiation of visible-light. Resultantly, the 3.9% N-CeO2/N-Gr photocatalyst delivers an impressive hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) rate of 3.7 μmol mgcat−1h−1under visible-light, which is 2.0- and 8.2-fold greater than those obtained from 3.9% N-CeO2and CeO2ones, respectively. Additionally, the combination of 3.9% N-CeO2and N-Gr synergistically produces a long-lasting plasmonic HER photocatalyst system. Metal-free plasmonic N-doped oxides supported by N-doped graphene pave a promising pathway for efficient light-to-hydrogen fuel production accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10217-10230
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 28

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2020R1A2B5B03001603, 2015M3D3A1A01064929, 2020R1A2C1014498), and by a Korea University grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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