Creating Multiple Parallel Internal Phase Junctions on ZnS Nanoparticles as Highly Active Catalytic Sites

Wei Liu, Enna Ha, Lyuyang Wang, Liangsheng Hu, Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee, Kwok Yin Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Semiconductors based on earth-abundant elements such as ZnS are economic materials for energy conversion but are often limited by their light absorption property and fast charge recombination. Herein, a solvothermal preparation of ZnS nanocrystals with multiple internal phase junctions (MIPs) of alternating wurtzite and sphalerite phases, which exhibit dramatically enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) rate (6.9 mmol g−1 h−1) under simulated sunlight is reported. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy indicates zinc atoms of different electronic environments on the surface of ZnS. The MIP-rich ZnS has substantially lower overpotential for electrocatalytic HER, probably due to the synergistic effect of easier H+ adsorption and enhanced H2 desorption on the active sites. This work paves a new route of reforming nanomaterials to acquire intrinsically enhanced catalytic properties for energy conversion applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800611
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2018


  • charge carriers
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • internal phase junction
  • photocatalysis
  • zinc sulfide nanocrystals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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