Fabrication of porous TiO2 nanorod array photoelectrodes with enhanced photoelectrochemical water splitting by helium ion implantation†
Porous photoelectrodes show high efficiency in hydrogen production by water splitting. However, fabrication of porous nanorods is usually difficult. Here, we report a simple approach to fabricate a kind of novel porous rutile titanium dioxide nanorod array by an advanced ion implantation method using multiple-energy helium ion implantation and subsequent annealing. The porous nanostructure enhances the photoelectrochemical performance of the titanium dioxide nanorod array photoelectrodes under Uv-visible light illumination, where the highest photocurrent density was relatively about 10 times higher than that of the pristine titanium dioxide nanorod array. The formation of nanocavities mainly contributes to the enhancement of the photocurrent density by trapping holes inside to separate the charge carriers. The study demonstrates that ion implantation could be an effective approach to develop novel porous nanostructural photoelectrodes for the application of hydrogen production.