Atomically dispersed antimony on carbon nitride for the artificial photosynthesis of hydrogen peroxide

Zhenyuan Teng, Qitao Zhang, Hongbin Yang, Kosaku Kato, Wenjuan Yang, Ying Rui Lu, Sixiao Liu, Chengyin Wang, Akira Yamakata, Chenliang Su, Bin Liu, Teruhisa Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Citations (Scopus)


Artificial photosynthesis offers a promising strategy to produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)—an environmentally friendly oxidant and a clean fuel. However, the low activity and selectivity of the two-electron oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in the photocatalytic process greatly restricts the H2O2 production efficiency. Here we show a robust antimony single-atom photocatalyst (Sb-SAPC, single Sb atoms dispersed on carbon nitride) for the synthesis of H2O2 in a simple water and oxygen mixture under visible light irradiation. An apparent quantum yield of 17.6% at 420 nm together with a solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency of 0.61% for H2O2 synthesis was achieved. On the basis of time-dependent density function theory calculations, isotopic experiments and advanced spectroscopic characterizations, the photocatalytic performance is ascribed to the notably promoted two-electron ORR by forming μ-peroxide at the Sb sites and highly concentrated holes at the neighbouring N atoms. The in situ generated O2 via water oxidation is rapidly consumed by ORR, leading to boosted overall reaction kinetics. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-384
Number of pages11
JournalNature Catalysis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Atomically dispersed antimony on carbon nitride for the artificial photosynthesis of hydrogen peroxide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this