Nanoparticulate precursor route to fine particles of TaON and ZrO2–TaON solid solution and their photocatalytic activity for hydrogen evolution under visible light
Preparation of fine TaON particles is attempted to improve the photocatalytic activity for H2 evolution from aqueous methanol solution under visible light (λ > 420 nm). TaON is synthesized by nitriding Ta2O5 powder at 1123 K for 15 h under a flow of NH3. When nanoparticulate Ta2O5 with a primary particle size of 30–50 nm is used as the precursor, fine particles of TaON (FP-TaON) with 50–80 nm in size is obtained, but the primary particles aggregate to form larger secondary particles. Nitridation of Zr–Ta mixed oxide (Zr/Ta = 0.1) nanoparticles results in the production of a solid solution of monoclinic-ZrO2 and TaON exhibiting 30–50 nm primary particle size with less aggregation and higher activity, as compared to FP-TaON. Suppression of surface defects (reduced tantalum species) produced during nitridation from Ta2O5 to TaON is shown to be essential for achieving efficient H2 evolution using TaON-based photocatalysts.
Graphical abstractUsing nanoparticulate oxide precursors, fine particles of TaON and a solid solution of ZrO2 and TaON are prepared. Formation of a solid solution between ZrO2 and TaON is shown to be an effective approach to enhance photocatalytic activity of TaON for H2 evolution under visible light (λ > 420 nm).Figure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload as PowerPoint slide
Journal: Applied Catalysis A: General - Volume 357, Issue 2, 15 April 2009, Pages 206–212