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Defect-Mediated Growth of Noble-Metal (Ag, Pt, and Pd) Nanoparticles on TiO2 with Oxygen Vacancies for Photocatalytic Redox Reactions under Visible Light

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-09-05, 00:00 authored by Xiaoyang Pan, Yi-Jun Xu
A synergistic strategy involving oxygen-vacancy generation and noble-metal deposition is developed to improve the photocatalytic performance of TiO2 under visible-light irradiation. Through a redox reaction between the reductive TiO2 with oxygen vacancies (TiO2-OV) and metal salt precursors, noble-metal nanoparticles (Ag, Pt, and Pd) are uniformly deposited on the defective TiO2-OV surface in the absence of any reducing agents or stabilizing ligands. The resulting M-TiO2-OV (M = Ag, Pt, and Pd) nanocomposites are used as visible-light-driven photocatalysts for selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol and reduction of heavy metal ions Cr­(VI). The results show that the oxygen vacancy creation obviously enhances the visible-light absorption of semiconductor TiO2. Meanwhile, the noble-metal deposition can effectively improve charge-separation efficiency of TiO2-OV under visible-light irradiation, thereby enhancing the photoactivity. In particular, Pd-TiO2-OV, having the average Pd particle size of 2 nm, shows the highest visible-light photoactivity, which can be attributed to the more efficient charge-carrier separation of Pd-TiO2-OV than Ag-TiO2-OV and Pt-TiO2-OV. The possible reaction mechanism for photocatalytic selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol and reduction of Cr­(VI) over M-TiO2-OV (M = Ag, Pt, and Pd) has also been studied. It is hoped that our work could offer a simple strategy on fabricating defect-based nanostructures and their applications in solar energy conversion.

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