Efficient full solar spectrum-driven photocatalytic hydrogen production on low bandgap TiO2/conjugated polymer nanostructures

RSC Adv. 2023 Aug 10;13(34):24038-24052. doi: 10.1039/d3ra04049f. eCollection 2023 Aug 4.


The development of photocatalysts that can utilize the entire solar spectrum is crucial to achieving efficient solar energy conversion. The utility of the benchmark photocatalyst, TiO2, is limited only to the UV region due to its large bandgap. Extending the light harvesting properties across the entire spectrum is paramount to enhancing solar photocatalytic performance. In this work, we developed low bandgap TiO2/conjugated polymer nanostructures which exhibit full spectrum activity for efficient H2 production. The highly mesoporous structure of the nanostructures together with the photosensitizing properties of the conjugated polymer enabled efficient solar light activity. The mesoporous TiO2 nanostructures calcined at 550 °C exhibited a defect-free anatase crystalline phase with traces of brookite and high surface area, resulting in the best performance in hydrogen production (5.34 mmol g-1 h-1) under sunlight simulation. This value is higher not only in comparison to other TiO2-based catalysts but also to other semiconductor materials reported in the literature. Thus, this work provides an effective strategy for the construction of full spectrum active nanostructured catalysts for enhanced solar photocatalytic hydrogen production.

PMID:37577094 | PMC:PMC10414019 | DOI:10.1039/d3ra04049f


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