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Since 1970, TiO 2 photocatalysis has been considered a possible alternative for sustainable water treatment. This is due to its material stability, abundance, nontoxicity and high activity. Unfortunately, its wide band gap (≈ 3.2 eV) in the UV portion of the spectrum makes it inefficient under solar illumination. Recently, so-called “black TiO 2” has been proposed as a candidate to overcome this issue. However, typical synthesis routes require high hydrogen pressure and long annealing treatments. In this work, we present an industrially scalable synthesis of TiO 2-based material based on laser irradiation. The resulting black TiO x shows a high activity and adsorbs visible radiation, overcoming the main concerns related to the use of TiO 2 under solar irradiation. We employed a commercial high repetition rate green laser in order to synthesize a black TiO x layer and we demonstrate the scalability of the present methodology. The photocatalyst is composed of a nanostructured titanate film (TiO x) synthetized on a titanium foil, directly back-contacted to a layer of Pt nanoparticles (PtNps) deposited on the rear side of the same foil. The result is a monolithic photochemical diode with a stacked, layered structure (TiO x/Ti/PtNps). The resulting high photo-efficiency is ascribed to both the scavenging of electrons by Pt nanoparticles and the presence of trap surface states for holes in an amorphous hydrogenated TiO x layer.
Publication date: 
19 Jan 2017

Massimo Zimbone, Giuseppe Cacciato, Mohamed Boutinguiza, Vittorio Privitera, Maria Grazia Grimaldi

Biblio References: 
Volume: 8 Issue: 1 Pages: 196-202
Beilstein journal of nanotechnology