Photoelectrochemical performance of facet-controlled TiO2 nanosheets grown hydrothermally on FTO†
Single crystal anatase TiO2 nanosheets (TiO2-NSs) are grown hydrothermally on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO). By systematically changing the hydrothermal conditions such as reaction time, initial concentration of Ti precursor, F precursor, and HCl as an additive, a wide variety of TiO2-NSs, with different morphologies and faceting have been synthesized. For the different morphologies and different facet ratios (anatase S001/S001+101), the photoelectrochemical response is characterized and compared. We find that for photoanodes in neutral electrolytes, the magnitude of the photocurrent depends strongly on the growth parameters, that is, peak IPCEs can vary from 11.7% to 61%. For a wide range of parameters, the key parameter deciding on the photocurrent is the effective electrochemically active area of the electrode. Only for very high facet ratios >91%, the photoresponse can be strongly influenced by faceting – for samples with a S001/S001+101 of 91%, IPCE value of ≈84% is obtained. This work defines not only optimized synthesis conditions for a most effective growth of these single crystalline electrode, but also represents fundamental data for further applications of such electrodes.