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Trapped State Sensitive Kinetics in LaTiO2N Solid Photocatalyst with and without Cocatalyst Loading

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journal contribution
posted on 10.12.2014, 00:00 by Rupashree Balia Singh, Hiroyuki Matsuzaki, Yohichi Suzuki, Kazuhiko Seki, Tsutomu Minegishi, Takashi Hisatomi, Kazunari Domen, Akihiro Furube
In addition to the process of photogeneration of electrons and holes in photocatalyst materials, the competitive process of trapping of these charge carriers by existing defects, which can both enhance the photocatalytic activity by promoting electron–hole separation or can deteriorate the activity by serving as recombination centers, is also very crucial to the overall performance of the photocatalyst. In this work, using femtosecond diffuse reflectance spectroscopy we have provided evidence for the existence of energetically distributed trapped states in visible-light responsive solid photocatalyst powder material LaTiO2N (LTON). We observe trapped state sensitive kinetics in bare-LTON. CoOx cocatalyst loading (2 wt % CoOx-LTON) shows effect on the kinetics only when presence of excess energy (for above bandgap excitation) results in the generation of surface carriers. Thus, the kinetics show appreciable excitation wavelength dependence, and the experimental results obtained for different λexc have been rationalized on this basis. In an earlier work by Domen and co-workers, the optimized CoOx/LTON has been reported to exhibit a high quantum efficiency of 27.1 ± 2.6% at 440 nm, the highest reported for this class of photocatalysts (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 8348–8351). In the present work, the mechanism is addressed in terms of picosecond charge carrier dynamics.