Efficient photocatalytic H2 production using visible-light irradiation and (CuAg)xIn2xZn2(1-2x)S2 photocatalysts with tunable band gaps

Guangshan Zhang, Wen Zhang, Daisuke Minakata, Peng Wang, Yongsheng Chen, John Crittenden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The band structures of semiconductor photocatalysts fundamentally determine the photocatalytic activity and the H2 production from the visible-light-driven water-splitting reaction.We synthesize a suite of multicomponent sulfide photocatalysts, (CuAg) xIn2xZn2(1-2x)S2 (0≤x≤0.5), with tunable band gaps and small crystallite sizes to produce H2 using visible-light irradiation. The band gap of the photocatalysts decreases from 3.47 eV to 1.51 eV with the increasing x value. The (CuAg)0.15In0.3Zn1.4S2 (x = 0.15) photocatalyst yielded the highest photocatalytic activity for H2 production owing to the broad visible-light absorption range and suitable conduction band potential. Under the optimized reaction conditions, the highest H2 production rate is 230 μmolm-2 h-1 with a visible-light irradiation of 2.7 × 10-5 einstein cm-2 s-1, and the quantum yield reaches 12.8% at 420 ± 5 nm within 24 h. Furthermore, the photocatalytic H2 production is shown to strongly depend on their band structures, which vary with the elemental ratios and could be analyzed by the Nernst relation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1521
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 10 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


  • (CuAg)InZnS
  • Band gap
  • H production
  • Photocatalyst
  • Water splitting


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