Nanostructured TiO2 is one of the best materials for photocatalysis, thanks to its high surface area and surface reactivity, but its large energy bandgap (3.2 eV) hinders the use of the entire solar spectrum. Here, it is proposed that defect-engineered nanostructured TiO2 photocatalysts are obtained by hydrogenation strategy to extend its light absorption up to the near-infrared region. It is demonstrated that hydrogenated or colored TiO2 hollow spheres (THS) composed of hierarchically assembled nanoparticles result in much broader exploitation of the solar spectrum (up to 1200 nm) and the engineered surface enhances the photogeneration of charges for photocatalytic processes. In turn, when applied for photodegradation of a targeted drug (Ciprofloxacin) this results in 82% degradation after 6 h under simulated sunlight. Valence band analysis by photoelectron spectroscopy revealed the presence of oxygen vacancies, whose surface density increases with the hydrogenation rate. Thus, a tight correlation between degree of hydrogenation and photocatalytic activity is directly established. Further insight comes from electron paramagnetic resonance, which evidences bulk Ti3+ centers only in hydrogenated THS. The results are anticipated to disclose a new path toward highly efficient photocatalytic titania in a series of applications targeting water remediation and solar fuel production.

Surface Defect Engineering in Colored TiO2 Hollow Spheres Toward Efficient Photocatalysis

Letizia Liccardo;Matteo Bordin;Alberto Vomiero;Elisa Moretti
2023-01-01

Abstract

Nanostructured TiO2 is one of the best materials for photocatalysis, thanks to its high surface area and surface reactivity, but its large energy bandgap (3.2 eV) hinders the use of the entire solar spectrum. Here, it is proposed that defect-engineered nanostructured TiO2 photocatalysts are obtained by hydrogenation strategy to extend its light absorption up to the near-infrared region. It is demonstrated that hydrogenated or colored TiO2 hollow spheres (THS) composed of hierarchically assembled nanoparticles result in much broader exploitation of the solar spectrum (up to 1200 nm) and the engineered surface enhances the photogeneration of charges for photocatalytic processes. In turn, when applied for photodegradation of a targeted drug (Ciprofloxacin) this results in 82% degradation after 6 h under simulated sunlight. Valence band analysis by photoelectron spectroscopy revealed the presence of oxygen vacancies, whose surface density increases with the hydrogenation rate. Thus, a tight correlation between degree of hydrogenation and photocatalytic activity is directly established. Further insight comes from electron paramagnetic resonance, which evidences bulk Ti3+ centers only in hydrogenated THS. The results are anticipated to disclose a new path toward highly efficient photocatalytic titania in a series of applications targeting water remediation and solar fuel production.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5025500
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