Water-Stable Boron-Doped Boron Nitride Photocatalyst for Visible Light-Driven H2 Evolution and CO2 Photoreduction
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Developing robust, multifunctional photocatalysts that can facilitate both hydrogen evolution via photoreforming of water and gas phase CO2 photoreduction is highly desirable with the long-term vision of integrated photocatalytic setups. Here, we present a new addition to the boron nitride (BN) photocatalyst material platform, boron-doped boron oxynitride (B-BNO), capable of fulfilling this goal. Detailed EPR studies revealed hyperfine interactions between free charges located on discrete OB3 sites, exhibiting an out-of-plane symmetry, and the nuclei of neighbouring boron atoms. This material resolves two long-standing bottlenecks associated to BN-based materials concomitantly: instability in water and lack of photo activity under visible light. We show that B-BNO maintains prolonged stability in water for at least three straight days and can facilitate both liquid phase H2 evolution and gas phase CO2 photoreduction, using UV-Vis and deep visible irradiation (λ > 550 nm), without any cocatalysts. The evolution rates, apparent quantum yields, and selectivities observed for both reactions with B-BNO exceed those of its porous BNO counterpart, P25 TiO2 and bulk g-C3N4. This work provides scope to expand the BN photocatalyst platform to a wider range of reactions.