Direct coating of a g-C3N4 layer onto one-dimensional TiO2 nanocluster/nanorod films for photoactive applications†
We report the coating of metal-free graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) onto titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanorods via a thermal evaporation method. Prior to g-C3N4 coating, TiO2 nanoclusters were grown on TiO2 nanorods to enhance the surface area by dipping in a TiCl3 solution for 12, 24 and 36 h. The prepared films were analyzed to assess the improvement in absorbance and reduction in recombination losses. Nanoclustered TiO2 grown for 24 h and then coated with a g-C3N4 film (i.e., TC_24h_CN) had the highest photocurrent of 235 and 290 μA, respectively, when measured by transient photocurrent and linear sweep voltammetry techniques. The enhanced performance resulted from a reduced recombination of electron–hole pairs. The TC_24h_CN film displayed an excellent photoresponse over 15 h of exposure to visible light and hence could potentially be used in water purification device technology.