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Title: TiO 2 nanotube arrays for photocatalysis: Effects of crystallinity, local order, and electronic structure

To furnish insight into correlations of electronic and local structure and photoactivity, arrays of short and long TiO₂ nanotubes were synthesized by electrochemical anodization of Ti foil, followed by thermal treatment in O₂ (oxidizing), Ar (inert), and H₂ (reducing) environments. The physical and electronic structures of these nanotubes were probed with x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and synchrotron-based x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and correlated with their photocatalytic properties. The photocatalytic activity of the nanotubes was evaluated by monitoring the degradation of methyl orange under UV-VIS light irradiation. Results show that upon annealing at 350 °C all as-anodized amorphous TiO₂ nanotube samples partially transform to the anatase structure, with variations in the degree of crystallinity and in the concentration of local defects near the nanotubes' surface (~5 nm) depending on the annealing conditions. Degradation of methyl orange was not detectable for the as-anodized TiO₂ nanotubes regardless of their length. The annealed long nanotubes demonstrated detectable catalytic activity, which was more significant with the H₂-annealed nanotubes than with the Ar- and O₂-annealed nanotube samples. This enhanced photocatalytic response of the H₂-annealed long nanotubes relative to the other samples is positively correlated with the presence of a larger concentration of lattice defects (such asmore » Ti 3+ and anticipated oxygen vacancies) and a slightly lower degree of crystallinity near the nanotube surface. These physical and electronic structural attributes impact the efficacy of visible light absorption; moreover, the increased concentration of surface defects is postulated to promote the generation of hydroxyl radicals and thus accelerate the photodegradation of the methyl orange. The information obtained from this study provides unique insight into the role of the near-surface electronic and defect structure, crystal structure, and the local chemical environment on the photocatalytic activity and may be employed for tailoring the materials' properties for photocatalysis and other energy-related applications.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA (United States)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0734-2101; JVTAD6; R&D Project: CO009; KC0302010
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. A, Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0734-2101
American Vacuum Society
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; nanotubes; crystal structure; x-ray absorption spectroscopy; absorption spectra; catalysis
OSTI Identifier: