ZnₓCd1-xS quantum dot with enhanced photocatalytic H₂-production performance

Rongrong GAO, Bei CHENG, Jiajie FAN, Jiaguo YU, Wing Kei HO

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88 Citations (Scopus)


H₂ is an important energy carrier for replacing fossil fuel in the future due to its high energy density and environmental friendliness. As a sustainable H₂-generation method, photocatalytic H₂ production by water splitting has attracted much interest. Here, oil-soluble ZnₓCd1-xS quantum dot (ZCS QD) with a uniform particle size distribution were prepared by a hot-injection method. However, no photocatalytic H₂-production activity was observed for the oil-soluble ZCS QD due to its hydrophobicity. Thus, the oil-soluble ZCS QD was converted into a water-soluble ZCS QD by a ligand-exchange method. The water-soluble ZCS QD exhibited excellent photocatalytic H₂-production performance in the presence of glycerin and Ni²⁺, with an apparent quantum efficiency of 15.9% under irradiation of 420 nm light. Further, the photocatalytic H₂-generation activity of the ZCS QD was ∼10.7 times higher than that of the ZnₓCd1-xS relative samples prepared by the conventional co-precipitation method. This work will inspire the design and fabrication of other semiconductor QD photocatalysts because QD exhibits excellent separation efficiency for photogenerated electron–hole pairs due to its small crystallite size. Copyright © 2021 Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
JournalChinese Journal of Catalysis
Issue number1
Early online dateMay 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


Gao, R., Cheng, B., Fan, J., Yu, J., & Ho, W. (2021). ZnₓCd₁₋ₓS quantum dot with enhanced photocatalytic H₂-production performance. Chinese Journal of Catalysis, 42(1), 15-24. doi: 10.1016/S1872-2067(20)63614-2


  • ZnₓCd₁₋ₓ
  • Solid-solution photocatalyst
  • Photocatalytic H₂ production
  • Oil-soluble quantum dot
  • Water-oil soluble quantum dot


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