Boron Carbides as Efficient, Metal-Free, Visible-Light-Responsive Photocatalysts


  • This work was supported by the NSF (CHE-1213795 to P.F. for project initiation and performing experiments, and CHE-1112568 to G.B. for theoretical modeling). We thank Dr. Arron Pekker and Prof. Robert C. Haddon for the use of an FT-Raman instrument. This study was also supported with supercomputer time from XSEDE (TG-CHE110064) and from the Shanghai supercomputer center.


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From armor plating to photocatalysis: Two photocatalysts based on boron carbides, B4.3C and B13C2, are reported. The more stable and efficient B4.3C exhibits H2 evolution rates of about two orders of magnitude higher than graphitic C3N4, and without the need for noble metal cocatalysts. Also, both materials can act as photocathodes for photoelectrochemical water reduction under visible light irradiation.