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Same titanium glycolate precursor but different products: successful synthesis of twinned anatase TiO2 nanocrystals with excellent solar photocatalytic hydrogen evolution capability

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Abstract

Exploiting a synthesis protocol to tailor TiO2 with a unique morphology and crystal phase has received considerable interest in the energy and environmental fields. We here describe the use of a titanium glycolate precursor in a hydrothermal hydrolysis reaction to engineer TiO2 nanocrystals with different crystal phases and structures. Anatase TiO2 nanocrystals with twinned structures were obtained by using a lower amount of NaOH in the hydrolysis system, while brookite TiO2 nanocrystals were formed when higher amounts of NaOH were employed. The as-synthesized different TiO2 nanocrystals have a suitable bandgap to harvest photons and a more negative bottom level of the conduction band than the redox potential of H+/H2 indicating their potential as hydrogen-evolution semiconductor photocatalysts. However, the TiO2 nanotwins show promoted charge separation efficiency, and thus result in superior photocatalytic H2 generation activity compared to the anatase and brookite TiO2 nanocrystals. Our findings provide an effective and versatile solution for the fabrication of TiO2-based nanostructures with different phases and morphologies through chemical conversion of powder precursor nanoparticles, which could pave the way to the design of other functional nano-oxides with unique structures.

Graphical abstract: Same titanium glycolate precursor but different products: successful synthesis of twinned anatase TiO2 nanocrystals with excellent solar photocatalytic hydrogen evolution capability

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 May 2017, accepted on 19 Jun 2017 and first published on 20 Jun 2017


Article type: Research Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7QI00278E
Citation: Inorg. Chem. Front., 2017, Advance Article
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    Same titanium glycolate precursor but different products: successful synthesis of twinned anatase TiO2 nanocrystals with excellent solar photocatalytic hydrogen evolution capability

    G. Cheng, Y. Wei, J. Xiong, Y. Gan, J. Zhu and F. Xu, Inorg. Chem. Front., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7QI00278E

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