Band gap engineered TiO2 nanoparticles for visible light induced photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic studies†
Visible light-active TiO2 (m-TiO2) nanoparticles were obtained by an electron beam treatment of commercial TiO2 (p-TiO2) nanoparticles. The m-TiO2 nanoparticles exhibited a distinct red-shift in the UV-visible absorption spectrum and a much narrower band gap (2.85 eV) due to defects as confirmed by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), photoluminescence (PL), X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and linear scan voltammetry (LSV). The XPS revealed changes in the surface states, composition, Ti4+ to Ti3+ ratio, and oxygen deficiencies in the m-TiO2. The valence band XPS, DRS and PL results were carefully examined to understand the band gap reduction of m-TiO2. The visible light-responsive enhanced photocatalytic activity of m-TiO2 was demonstrated by degrading methylene blue and brilliant blue G. The EIS and LSV in the dark and under visible light irradiation further support the visible light-induced photocatalytic activities of the m-TiO2 due to a decrease in electron transfer resistance and an increase in photocurrent. This study confirms that m-TiO2 can be used effectively as a photocatalyst and photoelectrode material owing to its enhanced visible light-induced photocatalytic activity.
- This article is part of the themed collections: JMC A Top Picks collection: Harnessing the power of the sun and The 30 most accessed articles in Journal of Materials Chemistry A in 2014