PLoS One. 2022 Oct 18;17(10):e0276097. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276097. eCollection 2022.
Nanofibrous morphology and the doping technique can overcome the problem of electron/hole fast recombination and improve the activity of titanium oxide-based photocatalysts. In this study, nanoparticulate and nanofibrous forms of CdTiO3-incorporated TiO2 were synthesized with different cadmium contents; the morphology and composition were determined by SEM, TEM, EDX, and XRD techniques. The nanomorphology, cadmium content, and reaction temperature of Cd-doped TiO2 nanostructures were found to be strongly affect the hydrogen production rate. Nanofibrous morphology improves the rate of hydrogen evolution by around 10 folds over the rate for nanoparticles due to electron confinement in 0D nanostructures. The average rates of hydrogen production for samples of 0.5 wt.% Cd are 0.7 and 16.5 ml/gcat.min for nanoparticles and nanofibers, respectively. On the other hand, cadmium doping resulted in increasing the hydrogen production rate from 9.6 to 19.7 ml/gcat.min for pristine and Cd-doped (2 wt%) TiO2 nanofibers, respectively. May be the formation of type I heterostructures between the TiO2 matrix and CdTiO3 nanoparticles is the main reason for the observed enhancement of photocatalytic activity due to the strong suppressing of electron/holes recombination process. Consequently, the proposed photocatalyst could be exploited to produce hydrogen from scavenger-free solution. Varying reaction temperature suggests that hydrogen evolution over the proposed catalyst is incompatible with the Arrhenius equation. In particular, reaction temperature was found to have a negative influence on photocatalytic activity. This work shows the prospects for using CdTiO3 as a co-catalyst in photon-induced water splitting and indicates a substantial enhancement in the rate of hydrogen production upon using the proposed photocatalyst in nanofibrous morphology.