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Reducing agent-free form ation of Cu(I) nanoclusters on gC3N4 for enhanced photocatalysis


Hanggara Sudrajat

Source title: 
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 716: 119-127 , 2017 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 

Copper species with +1 oxidization state, Cu(I), in amorphous form can potentially be employed for photocatalytic activity improvement due to its ability to capture photoproduced hole. However, this proposition has never been confirmed experimentally, likely due to difficulty in forming such amorphous Cu(I) on the host photocatalyst surface. In the present work, Cu(I) amorphous nanoclusters are successfully deposited on the gC3N4 surface via ultrasonication without any external reducing agent for enhancement of visible light photocatalytic activity. Since Cu species are introduced in low concentrations and cannot be satisfactorily inspected using conventional characterization techniques, synchrotron-based techniques including XANES, EXAFS and soft-XAS are therefore used for interrogating the oxidation state and local structure of Cu(I) nanoclusters as well as the structural features of gC3N4. Appreciable enhancement of photocatalytic activity of Cu(I)/gC3N4 is shown for degradation and mineralization of atrazine under visible light. The Cu(I)/gC3N4 also exhibits relatively high adsorption capability for atrazine, which is up to 37% of total atrazine removal. These obtained results are very encouraging and may find applications in abatement of other recalcitrant organic contaminants combining adsorption and photocatalysis.