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Photocatalytic and Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Performances of {010}-Faceted and [111]-Faceted Anatase TiO2 Nanocrystals Synthesized from Tetratitanate Nanoribbons

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journal contribution
posted on 24.09.2014, 00:00 by Yi-en Du, Qi Feng, Changdong Chen, Yasuhiro Tanaka, Xiaojing Yang
The morphology and exposed facet of the anatase-type TiO2 are very important to improve the photocatalytic activity and photovoltaic performance in dye-sensitized solar cells. In this work, we report the synthesis and the photocatalytic and dye-sensitized solar cell performances of anatase-type TiO2 single nanocrystals with exposed {010}- and [111]-facets and with various morphologies by using exfoliated tetratitanate nanoribbons as precursors. The precursor nanoribbons were prepared from the exfoliation of the protonated and, subsequently, tetramethylammonium/H+ ion-exchanged K2Ti4O9. The colloidal suspension containing the nanoribbons was hydrothermally heated with a microwave-assistance at temperatures from 120 to 190 °C after pH was adjusted to 0.5–14. The dependence of the crystalline phases on temperature and pH indicated that anatase single phase can be obtained at pH 3–13 whereas temperatures higher than 160 °C. The [111]-faceted nanorod-shaped anatase nanocrystals were formed preferentially at pH ≤ 3, whereas the {010}-faceted anatase nanocrystals with morphologies of rhombic, cuboid, and spindle were preferentially at pH ≥5. The morphology observation revealed that the nanoribbons were transformed to anatase nanocrystals mainly by the topotactic structural transformation reaction accompanied by an Ostwald ripening reaction, and pH of the reaction solution took a critical role in the crystal morphology change. At pH ≤1, the mixture of anatase, rutile, and brookite were obtained at higher temperature conditions. The photocatalytic activity and photovoltaic performance were enhanced in an order of surface without a specific facet < [111]-faceted surface < {010}-faceted surface.