Fast Charge Transportation and Enhanced Photocatalytic and Photo-Electrochemical Performance of 3D Hierarchical TiO2 Nano-Whisker/Graphite Fiber Heterostructure
A 3D hierarchical rutile heterostructure-TiO2 nanowhiskers (NWs) assembled onto graphite fibers (GFs)-was developed through a facile chemical bath deposition method at 323 K, using TiCl4 and GFs as raw materials. The TiO2 NWs were grown epitaxially with size ranging from about 5 nm to 150 nm. The growth of the TiO2 NWs on GFs was controlled by adjusting the reaction time over an interval of 6–24 h. The photocatalytic performance of these unique heterostructures was significantly enhanced compared with TiO2 P25 (by more than 110%–130%) and pure TiO2 NWs (by more than 200%–250%) under UV light irradiation for 25 min and with the same active area, using methyl orange (MO), methylene blue (RhB), rhodamine B (Mb), and phenol (Pl) as simulated pollutants. The photocatalytic properties were optimized when the sample was synthesized in 12 h. In addition, the heterostructures also showed high photocatalytic stability and photoelectrochemical properties. A maximum photoconversion efficiency of 1.48% was achieved by the TiO2 NW/GF heterostructures, which was significantly higher than the 0.37% of the TiO2 NWs. The enhanced photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical properties can be attributed to the fast charge transport of the graphite fiber. The photo-generated electrons were efficiently transferred and the photoelectron–hole recombination was suppressed because of the existing heterojunction structure between the GFs and TiO2 NWs.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2015
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