Photocatalytic CO2Reduction Enabled by Interfacial S-Scheme Heterojunction between Ultrasmall Copper Phosphosulfide and g-C3N4

Xiandi Zhang, Daekyu Kim, Jia Yan, Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Transition metal phosphosulfides (TMPSs) have gained much interest due to their highly enhanced photocatalytic activities compared to their corresponding phosphides and sulfides. However, the application of TMPSs on photocatalytic CO2 reduction remains a challenge due to their inappropriate band positions and rapid recombination of photogenerated electron-hole pairs. Herein, we report ultrasmall copper phosphosulfide (us-Cu3P|S) nanocrystals anchored on 2D g-C3N4 nanosheets. Systematic studies on the interaction between us-Cu3P|S and g-C3N4 indicate the formation of an S-scheme heterojunction via interfacial P-N chemical bonds, which acts as an electron transfer channel and facilitates the separation and migration of photogenerated charge carriers. Upon the composite formation, the band structures of us-Cu3P|S and g-C3N4 are altered to enable the enhanced photocatalytic CO generation rate of 137 μmol g-1 h-1, which is eight times higher than that of pristine g-C3N4. The unique phosphosulfide structure is also beneficial for the enhanced electron transfer rate and provides abundant active sites. This first application of Cu3P|S to photocatalytic CO2 reduction marks an important step toward the development of TMPSs for photocatalytic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9762-9770
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2021


  • COreduction reaction
  • copper phosphosulfide
  • P-N bond
  • photocatalysis
  • S-scheme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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