Cu2O-Decorated Mesoporous TiO2 Beads as a Highly Efficient Photocatalyst for Hydrogen Production
Cu2O-decorated mesoporous TiO2 beads (MTBs) are developed as a low-cost, highly efficient photocatalyst for H-2 production. MTBs with a high specific surface area of 189m(2)g(-1), a large pore volume of 0.43cm(3)g(-1) and a suitable pore size of 8.9nm are decorated with band-structure-matched Cu2O nanocrystals through a simple, fast and low-cost chemical bath deposition process. The Cu2O nanocrystals serve as an electron-hole separation centre to promote H-2 evolution. Under optimal operation conditions, an ultra-high specific H-2 evolution rate of 223mmolh(-1)g(-1) is achieved. The success is attributed to the structural advantages of the MTBs of high specific surface areas, large pore volumes and suitable pore sizes together with the much improved electron-hole separation and light utilisation of the Cu2O-decorated MTBs. The H-2 evolution rates achieved with the Cu2O-decorated MTBs are one order of magnitude higher than those achieved by commercial P25TiO(2).
National Science Council of the Republic of China (Taiwan) [NSC 101-2221-E-007-111-MY3]; Low Carbon Energy Research Center of the National Tsing-Hua University