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Fabrication and Properties of a Free-Standing Two-Dimensional Titania

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journal contribution
posted on 11.10.2017 by Song Ling Wang, Xin Luo, Xiong Zhou, Ye Zhu, Xiao Chi, Wei Chen, Kai Wu, Zheng Liu, Su Ying Quek, Guo Qin Xu
The synthesis of free-standing two-dimensional titania (2-D TiO2) with a reduced band gap presents complex challenges to synthetic chemists. Here, we report a free-standing 2-D TiO2 sheet synthesized via a one-step solvothermal methodology, with a measured optical onset at ∼1.84 eV. Using first-principles calculations in combination with experiment, we propose that the as-formed 2-D TiO2 sheets are layers of the lepidocrocite TiO2 structure, but with large nonuniform strains consistent with its crumpled morphology. These strains cause a significant change in the quasiparticle band structure and optical absorption spectra, resulting in large absorption in the visible-light region. This narrow band gap 2-D TiO2 can catalyze the formation of singlet oxygen and the degradation of dye pollutants with low-energy photons of solar light. Our work demonstrates that lattice strains intrinsic to 2-D materials, especially its crumpled, free-standing forms, can result in new and useful properties.