Reduced graphene oxide modified highly ordered TiO2 nanotube arrays photoelectrode with enhanced photoelectrocatalytic performance under visible-light irradiation
In this paper, reduced graphene oxide modified highly ordered TiO2 nanotube arrays (RGO–TNTs) have been fabricated and used for photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) degradation of organic pollutants under visible light irradiation. Firstly, the RGO–TNT electrode was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman, FT-IR, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. The responsive photocurrent and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) results indicated that our present RGO–TNTs displayed superior photoresponsive and electron transfer performances compared with bare TNTs. Moreover, by comparison with bare TNT electrode, the RGO–TNT arrays showed stable and evidently improved PEC activity for degradation of methyl orange (MO) under visible light illumination. This might be attributed to the introduction of RGO, which extended the absorption edge and promoted electron–hole separation in the PEC process. Furthermore, owing to the synergetic effect of photocatalysis and electrocatalysis in the PEC process, the efficiency of PEC process (3.0 × 10−3 min−1) is ca. 7.9 and 2.5 times faster than that of the electrochemical process (3.8 × 10−4 min−1) and photocatalytic process (1.2 × 10−3 min−1), respectively. Our investigation likely provides new opportunities for developing stable and efficient one-dimensional graphene modified TNT-based catalysts for PEC degradation of organic pollutants under visible light illumination.