Z.H. Zhang, Y.J. Yu, P. Wang
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 4, no. 2, p. 990-996, (2012)
In this paper, top-porous and bottom-tubular TiO2 nanotubes (TiO2 NTs) loaded with palladium nanoparticles (Pd/TiO2 NTs) were fabricated as an electrode for an enhanced photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) activity toward organic dye decomposition. TiO2 NTs with a unique hierarchical top-porous and bottom-tubular structure were prepared by a facile two-step anodization method and Pd nanoparticles were decorated onto the TiO2 NTs via a photoreduction process. The PEC activity of Pd/TiO2 NTs was investigated by decomposition of methylene blue (MB) and Rhodamine B (RhB). Because of formation Schottky junctions between TiO2 and Pd, which significantly promoted the electron transfer and reduced the recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes, the Pd/TiO2 NT electrode showed significantly higher PEC activities than TiO2 NTs. Interestingly, an obvious synergy between two dyes was observed and corresponding mechanism based on facilitated transfer of electrons and holes as a result of a suitable energy level alignment was suggested. The findings of this work provide a fundamental insight not only into the fabrication but also utility of Schottky junctions for enhanced environmental remediation processes.