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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 618492, 7 pages
Research Article

A Green and Facile Synthesis of Carbon-Incorporated Co3O4 Nanoparticles and Their Photocatalytic Activity for Hydrogen Evolution

1Key Laboratory of Instrumentation Science and Dynamic Measurement of Ministry of Education, North University of China, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030051, China
2Science and Technology on Electronic Test & Measurement Laboratory, North University of China, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030051, China
3School of Materials Science and Engineering, North University of China, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030051, China

Received 15 June 2014; Revised 9 August 2014; Accepted 10 August 2014

Academic Editor: Shimou Chen

Copyright © 2015 Libo Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Carbon-incorporated Co3O4 nanoparticles with an average diameter of 50 nm were prepared via a facile and environmentally friendly one-pot carbon-assisted method using degreasing cotton as a template as well as a reactant. The elemental analysis indicates the incorporation of carbon species into the Co3O4 nanoparticles and the XPS measurements demonstrate the presence of carbon species which comes from the incomplete combustion of the degreasing cotton. Interestingly, the resultant sample was able to split pure water into hydrogen under visible light irradiation without any cocatalyst, which is mainly due to the enhanced light absorption behavior confirmed by the UV-Vis absorption spectra. This facile method provided a potential strategy for applying narrow bandgap semiconductors in pure water splitting.