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Nanoscale one-dimensional TiO2 photocatalytic materials for hydrogen production by solar light activated water splitting

Shankar Muthukonda Venkatakrishnan ,  Mathieu Grandcolas ,  Olivier Rosseler ,  Nicolas Keller ,  Valérie Keller-Spitzer 

CNRS, ULP, Laboratoire des Matériaux, Surfaces et Procédés pour la Catalyse (LMSPC), 25 rue Becquerel, Strasbourg 67087, France


Since the discovery of carbon nanotubes, extensive research also performed on the synthesis of metal and metal-oxide nanotubes. A wide range application for nanoscale 1D-TiO2 has been explored, especially for targeting promising photocatalytic applications. They offer a larger surface area and enhanced electron transfer across the channel. Thus, the high adsorption capacity combined with efficient charge separation yielding to reduce the photogenerated electron and hole recombination, which is one of the limiting factors in photocatalysis, should have determinant roles in the surface redox reactions occurring in photocatalysis
Liquid-phase water splitting into hydrogen and oxygen using semiconductor photocatalysts – an uphill reaction belonging to the "artificial photosynthesis" reactions – has received much attention because of its potential application for direct production of hydrogen, a source of clean energy from solar light and water. This application is a promising target for new 1D TiO2-based photocatalytic materials.
This communication reports use of Au, Pt or perovskite phases supported on nanoscale 1D-TiO2 photocatalytic materials under solar light illumination. The role of the supported metal is to overcome the detrimental over potential related to the H2O/H2 redox couple and the TiO2 conduction band location, and to increase the photogenerated charge separation. In addition, using Au is interesting compared to Pt, since Au avoids the restrictive back reaction between H2 and O2 that takes place at the platinum surface. By contrast, perovskite phases are interesting for extending the absorption to the visible-light range. Supporting those phases onto nanoscale 1D-TiO2 materials helps both in reducing the recombination rate of photogenerated charges and in increasing the contact surface between water and the light-activated materials.


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Related papers

Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008, Symposium D, by Shankar Muthukonda Venkatakrishnan
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008

Submitted: 2008-06-26 12:19
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:48