Effect of doping level of colored TiO2 nanotube arrays fabricated by electrochemical self-doping on electrochemical properties†
Recently, two types of TiO2 nanotube arrays (NTAs) (blue- and black-colored TiO2 NTAs), which are easily fabricated by electrochemical self-doping, have gained much attention due particularly to their enhanced capacitive and oxidant-generating properties. These enhanced electrochemical properties mean that they have potential as basic materials for energy and environmental applications, such as in supercapacitors and anodes for water treatment. However, the understanding of the effect of the doping level of these TiO2 NTAs on their electrochemical properties is limited because there is no direct comparison or relevant discussion of their respective electrochemical properties under the same conditions, despite the similar surface characteristics of the TiO2 NTAs obtained by comparable electrochemical doping. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the doping level of blue and black TiO2 NTAs on their electrochemical properties, including the capacitive and oxidant-generating properties. Although no significant difference in their surface properties was found using SEM, XRD and XPS, the black TiO2 NTA revealed a slightly higher doping level than the blue TiO2 NTA, which is caused by the order of the electrochemical self-doping and annealing conditions. With the different doping levels of the two TiO2 NTAs, the black TiO2 NTA showed a higher areal capacitance, indicating good capacitive properties, and better service life in oxidant-generation than that of the blue TiO2 NTA. The blue TiO2 NTA exhibited a larger oxygen evolution overpotential and higher chlorine evolution efficiency than that of the black TiO2 NTA. We report that the new knowledge on blue and black TiO2 NTAs from this study can contribute to the further development of supercapacitors and oxidant-generating anodes for water treatment.