Photocatalysis with TiO2 Nanotubes: “Colorful” Reactivity and Designing Site-Specific Photocatalytic Centers into TiO2 Nanotubes

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Department of Materials Science WW4, LKO, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Martensstrasse 7, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21569, Saudi Arabia
*E-mail: [email protected]. Tel.: +49 91318517575. Fax: +49 9131 852 7582.
Cite this: ACS Catal. 2017, 7, 5, 3210–3235
Publication Date (Web):March 22, 2017
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
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Photocatalytic reactions on TiO2 have recently gained an enormous resurgence because of various new strategies and findings that promise to drastically increase efficiency and specificity of such reactions by modifications of the titania scaffold and chemistry. In view of geometry, in particular, anodic TiO2 nanotubes have attracted wide interest, as they allow a high degree of control over the separation of photogenerated charge carriers not only in photocatalytic reactions but also in photoelectrochemical reactions. A key advantage of ordered nanotube arrays is that nanotube modifications can be embedded site specifically into the tube wall; that is, cocatalysts, doping species, or junctions can be placed at highly defined desired locations (or with a desired regular geometry or pattern) along the tube wall. This allows an unprecedented level of engineering of energetics of reaction sites for catalytic and photocatalytic reactions, which target not only higher efficiencies but also the selectivity of reactions. Many recent tube alterations are of a morphologic nature (mesoporous structures, designed faceted crystallites, hybrids, or 1D structures), but a number of color-coded (namely, black, blue, red, green, gray) modifications have attracted wide interest because of the extension of the light absorption spectrum of titania in the visible range and because unique catalytic activity can be induced. The present Perspective gives an overview of TiO2 nanotubes in photocatalysis with an emphasis on the most recent advances in the use of nanotube arrays and discusses the underlying concepts in tailoring their photocatalytic reactivity.

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