Photodeposition of Ag Nanocrystals onto TiO2 Nanotube Platform for Enhanced Water Splitting and Hydrogen Gas Production
Journal of Nanomaterials
Current work reports the study of Ag nanocrystals (NCs) decorated doubly anodized (DA) TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) thin film as an efficient photoelectrode material for water splitting and photocatalytic hydrogen gas production. DA process has been shown to be capable of producing less defective NTs and creating additional spacious gaps in between NT bundles to allow efficient and uniform integration of Ag NCs. By employing photoreduction method, Ag NCs can be deposited directly onto NTs, where the
... o NTs, where the size and density of coverage can be maneuvered by merely varying the concentration of Ag precursors. Field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) images show that the Ag NCs with controllable size are homogeneously decorated onto the walls of NTs with random yet uniform distribution. X-ray diffraction (XRD) results confirm the formation of anatase TiO2 NTs and Ag NCs, which can be well indexed to standard patterns. The decoration of metallic Ag NCs onto the surface of NTs demonstrates a significant enhancement in the photoconversion efficiency as compared to that of pristine TiO2 NTs. Additionally, the as-prepared nanocomposite film also shows improved efficiency when used as a photocatalyst platform in the production of hydrogen gas. Such improvement in the performance of water splitting and photocatalytic hydrogen gas production activity can be credited to the surface plasmonic resonance of Ag NCs present on the surface of the NTs, which renders improved light absorption and better charge separation. The current work can serve as a model of study for designing more advanced nanoarchitecture photoelectrode for renewable energy application.