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Improving the visible light photoelectrochemical activity of synthesized TiO2 nanotube arrays in an organic electrolyte containing sodium carbonate with doping by copper via single-step anodization

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Abstract

The main aim of this research is to improve the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanotubes by co-doping with copper and sodium for application in the water splitting process as a photoanode. The doping was performed simultaneously to the anodizing process through a single-step treatment. The synthesized TiO2 nanotube array (TNA) was characterized by applying FESEM (Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy), XRD (X-ray Diffraction), DRS (Diffraction Reflection Spectroscopy) and XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) analyses. The results of XPS analysis proved the presence of copper with valence (2+) and carbon and sodium with valence (1+). Moreover, DRS tests showed a reduction in the band gap energy of the nanotubes from 3.2 eV for pure nanotubes to about 2.61 eV for doped ones. UV-visible tests confirmed the development of the absorption edge of pure nanotubes from UV-light (380 nm) to visible light (525 nm) for doped samples. Furthermore, it was exhibited that doping with copper and sodium leads to a decrease in the potential needed to separate the photoinduced electrons and promote them to the outer orbital. This slows the electron–hole recombination and allows the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanotubes to occur. In addition, photoelectrochemical measurements indicated that the photocurrent density of the doped nanotubes was enhanced about 12 times relative to the pure nanotubes.

Graphical abstract: Improving the visible light photoelectrochemical activity of synthesized TiO2 nanotube arrays in an organic electrolyte containing sodium carbonate with doping by copper via single-step anodization

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Mar 2017, accepted on 10 Aug 2017 and first published on 30 Aug 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NJ02970E
Citation: New J. Chem., 2017, Advance Article
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    Improving the visible light photoelectrochemical activity of synthesized TiO2 nanotube arrays in an organic electrolyte containing sodium carbonate with doping by copper via single-step anodization

    M. Alitabar and H. Yoozbashizadeh, New J. Chem., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NJ02970E

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