• hydrogen;
  • metal–organic frameworks;
  • noble metals;
  • photocatalytic;
  • visible light


M-doped NH2-MIL-125(Ti) (M=Pt and Au) were prepared by using the wetness impregnation method followed by a treatment with H2 flow. The resultant samples were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) analyses, N2-sorption BET surface area, and UV/Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). The photocatalytic reaction carried out in saturated CO2 with triethanolamine (TEOA) as sacrificial agent under visible-light irradiations showed that the noble metal-doping on NH2-MIL-125(Ti) promoted the photocatalytic hydrogen evolution. Unlike that over pure NH2-MIL-125(Ti), in which only formate was produced, both hydrogen and formate were formed over Pt- and Au-loaded NH2-MIL-125(Ti). However, Pt and Au have different effects on the photocatalytic performance for formate production. Compared with pure NH2-MIL-125(Ti), Pt/NH2-MIL-125(Ti) showed an enhanced activity for photocatalytic formate formation, whereas Au has a negative effect on this reaction. To elucidate the origin of the different photocatalytic performance, electron spin resonance (ESR) analyses and density functional theory (DFT) calculations were carried out over M/NH2-MIL-125(Ti).The photocatalytic mechanisms over M/NH2-MIL-125(Ti) (M=Pt and Au) were proposed. For the first time, the hydrogen spillover from the noble metal Pt to the framework of NH2-MIL-125(Ti) and its promoting effect on the photocatalytic CO2 reduction is revealed. The elucidation of the mechanism on the photocatalysis over M/NH2-MIL-125(Ti) can provide some guidance in the development of new photocatalysts based on MOF materials. This study also demonstrates the potential of using noble metal-doped MOFs in photocatalytic reactions involving hydrogen as a reactant, like hydrogenation reactions.