Alkali tantalate ATaO3 (A = Li, Na, and K) photocatalysts with perovskite-like structure showed activities for water splitting into H2 and O2 under UV irradiation. When the alkali tantalates were prepared in the presence of excess alkali, their activities were increased by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude. Scanning electron microscopy and photoluminescence measurements indicated that the excess alkali in the preparation increased the crystal size of NaTaO3 formed and prevented formation of alkali defects in NaTaO3 powder by volatilization, resulting in an increase in the photocatalytic activity. A LiTaO3 photocatalyst showed the highest activity among the naked alkali tantalate photocatalysts prepared in the presence of excess alkali. On the other hand, the activity of a NaTaO3 photocatalyst was increased by 1 order of magnitude when a NiO cocatalyst was loaded. The NiO(0.05 wt %)/NaTaO3 photocatalyst produced H2 and O2 from pure water with rates of 3.39 and 1.58 mmol h-1, respectively. The apparent quantum yield was 20% at 270 nm. It was concluded that the high activity of the NiO/NaTaO3 photocatalyst was due to the suitable conduction band level for photogenerated electrons to transfer to the NiO cocatalyst and delocalization of excited energy which were dominated by the orbital constituting the conduction band (Ta5d) and the slightly distorted connection between TaO6 octahedra in perovskite structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry