Novel hetero-bimetallic coordination polymer as a single source of highly dispersed Cu/Ni nanoparticles for efficient photocatalytic water splitting

Shaista Ibrahim, Imran Majeed, Yuhong Qian, Azhar Iqbal, Dan Zhao, David R. Turner, Muhammad Arif Nadeem

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19 Citations (Scopus)


A new strategy for depositing highly dispersed Cu and Ni nanoparticles on the surface of TiO2 from a single source is demonstrated for photocatalytic hydrogen production. We used a newly synthesized cyanide-bridged hetero-bimetallic coordination polymer [{CuII(4,4′-dipy)2}{Ni(CN)4}]n·0.7(C2H6O2).1.6(H2O) (CP-1) (4,4′-dipy = 1,3-di(4-pyridyl)propane) as a single-source precursor of Cu-Ni nanoparticles. The structure of CP-1 was established by single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis; CP-1 crystallizes in the monoclinic space group C2/c with β = 111.67(3)°. CP-1/TiO2 composites containing different weight percentages of CP-1 were achieved by hydrolyzing titanium isopropoxide in the presence of CP-1. Highly dispersed Cu and Ni nanoparticles were deposited on TiO2 by the calcination of the CP-1/TiO2 composites at different temperatures (420 °C, 470 °C and 520 °C) in air followed by reduction in H2/Ar atmosphere at 470 °C for 2 h. XRD, DRS/UV-Vis, TEM, Cu/Ni 2p XPS, and photoluminescence spectroscopy demonstrated the presence of CuO/Cu0 and NiO/Ni0 as active co-catalysts on the surface of TiO2. The 1 wt% Cu-Ni/TiO2-470 photocatalyst showed the maximum H2 production activity of 8.5 mmol h-1 g-1 in a glycerol/water mixture (20 vol%). The results are anticipated to direct the future development of efficient, low-cost and noble metal-free semiconductor photocatalysts for solar H2 production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1816-1827
Number of pages12
JournalInorganic Chemistry Frontiers
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

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