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Design and mechanism of core-shell TiO2 nanoparticles as a high-performance photothermal agent


Photothermal agents (PTAs) with high biocompatibility and therapeutic efficacy have become particularly fascinating, while understanding of their photothermal performance is rather scarce. Herein, rationally designed core-shell TiO2 nanoparticles have been fabricated using a mild hydrogenation method, where NaBH4 is used as H2 resource. The resultant TiO2 possesses strong optical absorption in the NIR region and remarkable photothermal conversion capability and stability, leading to a high inhibition rate on cancer cells. Especially, its photothermal conversion efficiency is as high as ∼55.2%, which is 204% as that of the fully-hydrogenated amorphous TiO2. More importantly, the underlying mechanism is proposed. It is revealed that, whilst the oxygen vacancies induced by the hydrogenation can introduce defect levels in the band gap and benefit the optical absorption, the superfluous oxygen vacancies and defects reduce the photothermal conversion capability and thermal conductivity seriously. Controlling the hydrogenation degree and maintaining a certain extent of crystallization are, therefore, crucial to the photothermal property. This new understanding of photothermal conversion mechanism may have provided a fresh route to design and optimize PTAs, and inspire considerable interest to turn a big variety of semiconductor metal oxides into competent PTAs by appropriate hydrogenation.

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Apr 2017, accepted on 27 Aug 2017 and first published on 28 Aug 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR02848B
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Design and mechanism of core-shell TiO2 nanoparticles as a high-performance photothermal agent

    L. Sun, Z. Li, Z. Li, Y. Hu, C. Chen, C. Yang, B. Du, Y. Sun, F. Besenbacher and M. Yu, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR02848B

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