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Efficiently Enhancing Visible Light Photocatalytic Activity of Faceted TiO2 Nanocrystals by Synergistic Effects of Core–Shell Structured Au@CdS Nanoparticles and Their Selective Deposition

Research paper by Ruifeng Tong, Chang Liu, Zhenkai Xu, Qin Kuang, Zhaoxiong Xie, Lansun Zheng

Indexed on: 11 Aug '16Published on: 01 Aug '16Published in: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces



Abstract

Integrating wide bandgap semiconductor photocatalysts with visible-light-active inorganic nanoparticles (such as Au and CdS) as sensitizers is one of the most efficient methods to improve their photocatalytic activity in the visible light region. However, as for all such composite photocatalysts, a rational design and precise control over their architecture is often required to achieve optimal performance. Herein, a new TiO2-based ternary composite photocatalyst with superior visible light activity was designed and synthesized. In this composite photocatalyst, the location of the visible light sensitizers was engineered according to the intrinsic facet-induced effect of well-faceted TiO2 nanocrystals on the spatial separation of photogenerated carriers. Experimentally, core–shell structured Au@CdS nanoparticles acting as visible light sensitizers were selectively deposited onto photoreductive {101} facets of well-faceted anatase TiO2 nanocrystals through a two-step in situ photodeposition route. Because the combination of Au@CdS and specific {101} facets of TiO2 nanocrystals facilitates the transport of charges photogenerated under visible light irradiation, this well-designed ternary composite photocatalyst exhibited superior activity in visible-light-driven photocatalytic H2 evolution, as expected.

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