Reduced TiO2-Graphene Oxide Heterostructure As Broad Spectrum-Driven Efficient Water-Splitting Photocatalysts

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State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Materials Science & Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, Guangdong, P. R. China
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2016, 8, 13, 8536–8545
Publication Date (Web):March 17, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society
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The reduced TiO2-graphene oxide heterostructure as an alternative broad spectrum-driven efficient water splitting photocatalyst has become a really interesting topic, however, its syntheses has many flaws, e.g., tedious experimental steps, time-consuming, small scale production, and requirement of various additives, for example, hydrazine hydrate is widely used as reductant to the reduction of graphene oxide, which is high toxicity and easy to cause the second pollution. For these issues, herein, we reported the synthesis of the reduced TiO2-graphene oxide heterostructure by a facile chemical reduction agent-free one-step laser ablation in liquid (LAL) method, which achieves extended optical response range from ultraviolet to visible and composites TiO2–x (reduced TiO2) nanoparticle and graphene oxide for promoting charge conducting. 30.64% Ti3+ content in the reduced TiO2 nanoparticles induces the electronic reconstruction of TiO2, which results in 0.87 eV decrease of the band gap for the visible light absorption. TiO2–x-graphene oxide heterostructure achieved drastically increased photocatalytic H2 production rate, up to 23 times with respect to the blank experiment. Furthermore, a maximum H2 production rate was measured to be 16 mmol/h/g using Pt as a cocatalyst under the simulated sunlight irradiation (AM 1.5G, 135 mW/cm2), the quantum efficiencies were measured to be 5.15% for wavelength λ = 365 ± 10 nm and 1.84% for λ = 405 ± 10 nm, and overall solar energy conversion efficiency was measured to be 14.3%. These findings provided new insights into the broad applicability of this methodology for accessing fascinate photocatalysts.

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