Cu2O clusters grown on TiO2 nanoplates as efficient photocatalysts for hydrogen generation
Conversion of solar energy into chemical energy in the form of so-called “solar fuels”, e.g., hydrogen, methane etc., is considered as one of the most promising methods to solve the future energy and environment challenges. Herein, ultrafine Cu2O clusters are in situ uniformly grown on the surface of TiO2 nanoplates (Cu2O/TiO2) via a one-pot hydrothermal method. The morphology and structure of Cu2O/TiO2 products are investigated by different characterization techniques. Furthermore, a detailed study on photocatalytic hydrogen generation demonstrates that the charge transfer of TiO2 with Cu2O loading is significantly accelerated, leading to high charge separation efficiency. Impressively, Cu2O/TiO2 exhibits superior catalytic activity towards water reduction, which is even higher than that of TiO2 loaded with noble metal Au nanoparticles. The strategy, facilitating charge transfer by construction of a heterojunction interface with cheap transition metal oxides, will offer the opportunity toward practical application of nanomaterials in energy conversion.
- This article is part of the themed collections: HOT articles in Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers for 2016 and Sino-European Collaborators