Synergetic effects of Cu/TiO2 sensitized with different cyanine dyes on hydrogen evolution†
The production of hydrogen as an alternative fuel is a major challenge for developed countries. To achieve this, photocatalysis is a promising method, which depends mainly on a renewable energy source, namely, the sun. Many derivatives of cyanine-sensitized Cu/TiO2 were prepared and characterized by XRD, SEM-EDS, TEM, BET surface area and UV-vis spectrophotometry and their photocatalytic activity was studied. The study of hydrogen production over the sensitized photocatalysts confirmed the significant role of the dyes in the enhancement of hydrogen production. Dye molecules harness light radiation to produce strong oxidizing species, such as hydroxyl radicals, which in turn form hydrogen molecules. Combining sonolysis with photocatalysis processes proved that ultrasound waves inhibit the agglomeration of particles and maintain their surface area. This synergetic process increased the efficiency of hydrogen production by 7 times using photocatalysis only.