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Issue 21, 2016
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Aerosol synthesis of shape-controlled template particles: a route to Ta3N5 nanoplates and octahedra as photocatalysts

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Abstract

Metal oxynitrides and nitrides are important materials for use as photocatalysts due to their ability to absorb visible light in comparison to their oxide counterparts. The photoactivity of these materials should be enhanced through shape-controlled particles and nanostructuring; however, facile syntheses to high fidelity shape control are rare. Here, the syntheses of porous Ta3N5 nanoplates and octahedra are reported through nitridation of aerosol-prepared template particles. Specifically, amorphous nanoplates and octahedra with a nominal composition of Ta2O5 were prepared selectively by aerosol-assisted molten salt syntheses (AMSS) through the use of different fluxes. The amorphous nature of the products from AMSS is surprising given their defined shape, yet the use of these templates decreased the nitridation time to Ta3N5 compared to most reports, resulting in a product with fewer surface defects. Moreover, the structure-controlled Ta3N5 samples yielded enhanced photocatalytic performances for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) compared to structurally ill-defined Ta3N5. Significantly, other metal oxynitrides or nitrides with defined nanoscale features and enhanced photoactivity should be possible through this synthetic approach.

Graphical abstract: Aerosol synthesis of shape-controlled template particles: a route to Ta3N5 nanoplates and octahedra as photocatalysts

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Mar 2016, accepted on 07 May 2016 and first published on 16 May 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA01889K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 8451-8457
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    Aerosol synthesis of shape-controlled template particles: a route to Ta3N5 nanoplates and octahedra as photocatalysts

    J. Fu and S. E. Skrabalak, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 8451
    DOI: 10.1039/C6TA01889K

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