Comparative activity of aqueous dispersions of CdS nanocrystals stabilized by cationic and anionic polyelectrolytes in photocatalytic hydrogen production from water
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The results of a study on the photocatalytic activity of aqueous dispersions of Ni-doped CdS nanocrystals (NCs) covered with an amphiphilic polyelectrolyte (PE) shell, i.e., a polycation (NC-PC) or polyanion (NC-PA), are presented for the first time. The H2 evolution rate measured under identical conditions served as a measure of activity. The NC-PC and NC-PA samples were characterized by similar PE content (~40%) and monomodal size distribution. According to our calculations based on the NC dimensions and lattice parameters, about one macromolecule of the PE is required to stabilize one NC. The average hydrodynamic diameter of the NC-PC was found to be 1.5 times larger than that of the NC-PA due to the difference between their chemical structures and different abilities of ionogenic groups to dissociate. The photocatal ytic activity of the PE-stabilized CdS nanocrystals was significantly influenced by the type of the PE, while the H2 evolution rate depended on the reducing medium used during the process. When the medium contained Na2S or when the PE-stabilized NCs were pretreated with Na2S, the effect of the shell type was more pronounced and the activity of NC-PA was 2 to 14 times higher than that of NC-PC.
Key wordsphotocatalysis hydrogen evolution reactions nanocrystals cadmium sulfide polyelectrolytes nickel
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