We demonstrate a unique route towards hierarchical assemblies of mesoporous TiO2 and CNT/TiO2 photocatalysts by a combination of electrospinning and sol–gel methods. The resulting materials exhibit a mesoporous network of highly crystalline, well-connected inorganic nanocrystals with an order of magnitude higher photocatalytic activity than individualised TiO2 nanoparticles. The in-situ combination of small amounts of MWCNTs with TiO2 to form an electrospun CNT/TiO2 hybrid further enhanced the oxide photoactivity considerably, reaching hydrogen evolution rates of 1218 μmol/h in water splitting in the presence of sacrificial reagents under UV irradiation. We also discuss the effect of oxygen vacancies on the oxide crystallisation and phase transformation. These vacancies lead to inter-bandgap states and a lower flat band potential that facilitates the photocatalytic process.

Oxygen vacancies and interfaces enhancing photocatalytic hydrogen production in mesoporous CNT/TiO2 hybrids

MARCHESAN, SILVIA;PRATO, MAURIZIO;
2015

Abstract

We demonstrate a unique route towards hierarchical assemblies of mesoporous TiO2 and CNT/TiO2 photocatalysts by a combination of electrospinning and sol–gel methods. The resulting materials exhibit a mesoporous network of highly crystalline, well-connected inorganic nanocrystals with an order of magnitude higher photocatalytic activity than individualised TiO2 nanoparticles. The in-situ combination of small amounts of MWCNTs with TiO2 to form an electrospun CNT/TiO2 hybrid further enhanced the oxide photoactivity considerably, reaching hydrogen evolution rates of 1218 μmol/h in water splitting in the presence of sacrificial reagents under UV irradiation. We also discuss the effect of oxygen vacancies on the oxide crystallisation and phase transformation. These vacancies lead to inter-bandgap states and a lower flat band potential that facilitates the photocatalytic process.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2841331
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