Volume 3, Issue 10, October 2015
- SPECIAL TOPIC: PHOTOCATALYSIS
- Invited Articles
Exceptional enhancement of H2 production in alkaline environment over plasmonic Au/TiO2 photocatalyst under visible light3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4921783View Description Hide Description
A reaction environment modulation strategy was employed to promote the H2 production over plasmonic Au/semiconductor composites. It is shown that the fast consumption of the holes in plasmonic Au nanoparticles by methanol in alkaline reaction environment remarkably increases H2 generation rate under visible light. The photocatalytic reaction is mainly driven by the interband transition of plasmonic Au nanoparticles, and the apparent quantum efficiency of plasmon-assisted H2 production at pH 14 reaches 6% at 420 nm. The reaction environment control provides a simple and effective way for the highly efficient solar fuel production from biomass reforming through plasmonic photocatalysis in future.
Photocatalytic oxidation of the organic monolayers on TiO2 surface investigated by in-situ sum frequency generation spectroscopy3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4921954View Description Hide Description
In-situ vibrational sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy has been employed to investigate the photocatalytic oxidation of two types of well-ordered organic monolayers, namely, an arachidic acid (AA) monolayer prepared by the Langmuir-Blodgett method and an octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) monolayer prepared by the self-assembling method, on a TiO2 surface under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. The extremely high sensitivity and unique selectivity of the SFG spectroscopy enabled us to directly probe the structural changes in these monolayers during the surface photocatalytic oxidation and further elucidate their reaction mechanisms at a molecular level. It was revealed that the ordering of the monolayers during the photocatalytic reaction is strongly dependent on their interaction with the substrate; the AA monolayer maintains its ordered conformation until the final oxidation stage, while the OTS monolayer shows a large increase in disordering during the initial oxidation stage, indicating a different photocatalytic reaction mechanism of the two monolayers on the TiO2 surface.
Dye-sensitized MIL-101 metal organic frameworks loaded with Ni/NiOx nanoparticles for efficient visible-light-driven hydrogen generation3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4922151View Description Hide Description
The Ni/NiOx particles were in situ photodeposited on MIL-101 metal organic frameworks as catalysts for boosting H2 generation from Erythrosin B dye sensitization under visible-light irradiation. The highest H2 production rate of 125 μmol h−1 was achieved from the system containing 5 wt. % Ni-loaded MIL-101 (20 mg) and 30 mg Erythrosin B dye. Moreover, the Ni/NiOx catalysts show excellent stability for long-term photocatalytic reaction. The enhancement on H2 generation is attributed to the efficient charge transfer from photoexcited dye to the Ni catalyst via MIL-101. Our results demonstrate that the economical Ni/NiOx particles are durable and active catalysts for photocatalytic H2 generation.
Effect of effective mass and spontaneous polarization on photocatalytic activity of wurtzite and zinc-blende ZnS3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4922860View Description Hide Description
Semiconductor zinc sulphide (ZnS) has two common phases: hexagonal wurtzite and cubic zinc-blende structures. The crystal structures, energy band structures, density of states (DOS), bond populations, and optical properties of wurtzite and zinc-blende ZnS were investigated by the density functional theory of first-principles. The similar band gaps and DOS of wurtzite and zinc-blende ZnS were found and implied the similarities in crystal structures. However, the distortion of ZnS 4 tetrahedron in wurtzite ZnS resulted in the production of spontaneous polarization and internal electric field, which was beneficial for the transfer and separation of photogenerated electrons and holes.
3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4922833View Description Hide Description
A series of magnesium vanadates (MgV 2O6, Mg 2V 2O7, and Mg 3V 2O8) were synthesized to investigate the effect of cation concentration on photocatalytic performance. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, field emission-scanning electron microscopy, UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy. The photocatalytic O2 evolution experiments under visible light irradiation showed Mg 2V 2O7 exhibits the best performance, while Mg 3V 2O8 has the lowest activity. The density functional theory calculations indicated that the lowest unoccupied states of Mg 3V 2O8 are the mostly localized by the cation layers. The fluorescence spectra and fluorescence decay curves gave evident performances of excited states of magnesium vanadates and pointed out MgV 2O6 has a very short excited electron lift-time. Mg 2V 2O7 performs high photocatalytic activity because of its high electron mobility and long electron life-time.
Plasmon-induced charge separation at two-dimensional gold semishell arrays on SiO2@TiO2 colloidal crystals3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4922935View Description Hide Description
Photoelectrodes based on plasmonic Au semishell (or halfshell) arrays are developed. A colloidal crystal consisting of SiO2@TiO2 core-shell particles is prepared on a TiO2-coated transparent electrode. A Au semishell (or halfshell) array is deposited by sputtering or evaporation on the colloidal crystal. An electrode with the semishell (or halfshell) array exhibits negative photopotential shifts and anodic photocurrents under visible light at 500-800 nm wavelengths in an aqueous electrolyte containing an electron donor. In particular, hydroquinone and ethanol are good electron donors. The photocurrents can be explained in terms of plasmon-induced charge separation at the Au-TiO2 interface.
Visible-light active thin-film WO3 photocatalyst with controlled high-rate deposition by low-damage reactive-gas-flow sputtering3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4922942View Description Hide Description
A process based on reactive gas flow sputtering (GFS) for depositing visible-light active photocatalytic WO3 films at high deposition rates and with high film quality was successfully demonstrated. The deposition rate for this process was over 10 times higher than that achieved by the conventional sputtering process and the process was highly stable. Furthermore, Pt nanoparticle-loaded WO3 films deposited by the GFS process exhibited much higher photocatalytic activity than those deposited by conventional sputtering, where the photocatalytic activity was evaluated by the extent of decomposition of CH3CHO under visible light irradiation. The decomposition time for 60 ppm of CH3CHO was 7.5 times more rapid on the films deposited by the GFS process than on the films deposited by the conventional process. During GFS deposition, there are no high-energy particles bombarding the growing film surface, whereas the bombardment of the surface with high-energy particles is a key feature of conventional sputtering. Hence, the WO3 films deposited by GFS should be of higher quality, with fewer structural defects, which would lead to a decrease in the number of centers for electron-hole recombination and to the efficient use of photogenerated holes for the decomposition of CH3CHO.
Group III-nitride nanowire structures for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution under visible light irradiation3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923258View Description Hide Description
The performance of photochemical water splitting over the emerging nanostructured photocatalysts is often constrained by their surface electronic properties, which can lead to imbalance in redox reactions, reduced efficiency, and poor stability. We have investigated the impact of surface charge properties on the photocatalytic activity of InGaN nanowires. By optimizing the surface charge properties through controlled p-type dopant (Mg) incorporation, we have demonstrated an apparent quantum efficiency of ∼17.1% and ∼12.3% for InGaN nanowire arrays under visible light irradiation (400 nm–490 nm) in aqueous methanol and in the overall neutral-pH water splitting reaction, respectively.
- Contributed articles
3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4919700View Description Hide Description
We investigate the impact of post-treatment on photocatalytic oxidation activity of (111) oriented NaNbO3 film prepared by pulse laser deposition. Some impurities such as Na 2 Nb 4O11 and bigger particles appear in the treated samples. The activity of rhodamine B degradation with N2 purge increases with the amount of ⋅OH, the sample treated under H2/Ar(7%) being the highest activity, followed by under air and untreated one; the opposite trend is observed when the system was without N2 purge.
A new bimetallic plasmonic photocatalyst consisting of gold(core)-copper(shell) nanoparticle and titanium(IV) oxide support3(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923098View Description Hide Description
Ultrathin Cu layers (∼2 atomic layers) have been selectively formed on the Au surfaces of Au nanoparticle-loaded rutile TiO2 (Au@Cu/TiO2) by a deposition precipitation-photodeposition technique. Cyclic voltammetry and photochronopotentiometry measurements indicate that the reaction proceeds via the underpotential deposition. The ultrathin Cu shell drastically increases the activity of Au/TiO2 for the selective oxidation of amines to the corresponding aldehydes under visible-light irradiation (λ > 430 nm). Photochronoamperometry measurements strongly suggest that the striking Cu shell effect stems from the enhancement of the charge separation in the localized surface plasmon resonance-excited Au/TiO2.