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Thermal Vacuum De-oxygen and Post Oxidation of TiO2 Nanorod Arrays for Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Properties

Abstract

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a promising photoelectrode material in a photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell for generating hydrogen which is an ideal green energy carrier, as it is stable, abundant, and nontoxic. However, its large band gap still forms an obstacle for the practical applications of TiO2. Achieving reduced TiO2 (TiO2-x) is regarded as a good solution. In this work, we report an efficient approach to synthesize TiO2-x by vacuum annealing. The obtained TiO2-x nanorod arrays (NRAs) are covered with a thin amorphous layer after annealing at 500 °C for 4 h, showing good photoresponse in both ultraviolet and visible region. The NRAs possess narrowed band gap, increased donor density, and reduced charge transport and transfer resistance, exhibiting a photocurrent density of 1.62 mA/cm2 at the bias of 1.23 V verse (vs.) reversible hydrogen electrode, superior to that of a pristine TiO2 NRAs (0.81 mA/cm2). Moreover, the light-induced post passivation further improves the photocurrent density to 1.82 mA/cm2. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and PEC measurements reveal that the enhancement is due to the formation hydroxyl radicals at the surface and increased utilization of irradiation light. Consequently, the facile vacuum annealing method is proven to boost the PEC performance of TiO2 NRAs and could be a promising approach to enhancing the photocatalytic activity of other metallic oxide semiconductors.

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Dec 2018, accepted on 23 Jan 2019 and first published on 25 Jan 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA11830B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Thermal Vacuum De-oxygen and Post Oxidation of TiO2 Nanorod Arrays for Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Properties

    C. Huang, J. Bian, Y. Guo, M. HUANG and R. Zhang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA11830B

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