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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, 00:00 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.