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Enhanced Photocatalytic H2 Generation by Light‐Induced Carbon Modification of TiO2 Nanotubes

ChemistryOpen, März 2024, DOI. Login für Volltextzugriff.

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A closer examination of the role and impact of carbon within TiO2 nanotubes on H2 evolution and photoelectrochemical performance was carried out. Carbon is inherently present in nanotubes as remnant organic electrolyte used in the anodization processes. This residue serves as a carbon source during annealing in air, and when exposed to UV light, the carbon undergoes modification, thus resulting in enhanced photocatalytic efficiency.


Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the material of choice for photocatalytic and electrochemical applications owing to its outstanding physicochemical properties. However, its wide bandgap and relatively low conductivity limit its practical application. Modifying TiO2 with carbon species is a promising route to overcome these intrinsic complexities. In this work, we propose a facile method to modify TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) based on the remnant organic electrolyte retained inside the nanotubes after the anodization process, that is, without removing it by immersion in ethanol. Carbon-modified TiO2 NTs (C-TiO2 NTs) showed enhanced H2 evolution in photocatalysis under UV illumination in aqueous solutions. When the C-TiO2 NTs were subjected to UV light illumination, the carbon underwent modification, resulting in higher measured photocurrents in the tube layers. After UV illumination, the IPCE of the C-TiO2 NTs was 4.4-fold higher than that of the carbon-free TiO2 NTs.

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