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Facile Fabrication of Hierarchical TiO2 Nanobelt/ZnO Nanorod Heterogeneous Nanostructure: An Efficient Photoanode for Water Splitting

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Key Laboratory of Functional Inorganic Material Chemistry, Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, Heilongjiang University, Harbin 150080, People’s Republic of China
College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, People’s Republic of China
*E-mail: [email protected]. Tel.: +86 451 8660 9141. Fax: +86 451 8667 3647.
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2013, 5, 17, 8314–8320
Publication Date (Web):August 19, 2013
https://doi.org/10.1021/am402154k
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

The TiO2 nanobelt/ZnO nanorod composite photoelectrodes with flower-like and/or grass-like microstructures have been fabricated via a facile solution growth routine, just by controlling the treatment of the TiO2 nanobelt substrate. For the flower-like composite, the ZnO nanorods disperse orientationally on TiO2 nanobelt films, while for the grass-like one, ZnO nanorods grow disorderly like grass on the TiO2 nanobelt film surface. Furthermore, quasi-Fermi energy level changes of both photoelectrodes have been quantitatively characterized by the surface photovoltage based on the Kelvin probe, which clearly reveals the efficiency of photogenerated electron–hole separation. Owing to the decrease of quasi-Fermi energy level, the flower-like TiO2 nanobelt/ZnO nanorod heterogeneous nanostructure presents a high efficiency of photogenerated electron–hole separation. Therefore, the flower-like TiO2 nanobelt/ZnO nanorod heterogeneous nanostructure photoelectrode has achieved a better performance of water splitting compared with the grass-like TiO2 nanobelt/ZnO nanorod one.

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