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ACS Nano. 2011 Jun 28;5(6):5025-30. doi: 10.1021/nn201111j. Epub 2011 May 24.

Nitrogen-doped anatase nanofibers decorated with noble metal nanoparticles for photocatalytic production of hydrogen.

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Microelectronics and Materials Physics Laboratories, Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4500, Oulu FIN-90014, Finland.


We report the synthesis of N-doped TiO(2) nanofibers and high photocatalytic efficiency in generating hydrogen from ethanol-water mixtures under UV-A and UV-B irradiation. Titanate nanofibers synthesized by hydrothermal method are annealed in air and/or ammonia to achieve N-doped anatase fibers. Depending on the synthesis route, either interstitial N atoms or new N-Ti bonds appear in the lattice, resulting in slight lattice expansion as shown by XPS and HR-TEM analysis, respectively. These nanofibers were then used as support for Pd and Pt nanoparticles deposited with wet impregnation followed by calcination and reduction. In the hydrogen generation tests, the N-doped samples were clearly outperforming their undoped counterparts, showing remarkable efficiency not only under UV-B but also with UV-A illumination. When 100 mg of catalyst (N-doped TiO(2) nanofiber decorated with Pt nanoparticles) was applied to 1 L of water-ethanol mixture, the H(2) evolution rates were as high as 700 μmol/h (UV-A) and 2250 μmol/h (UV-B) corresponding to photo energy conversion percentages of ∼3.6 and ∼12.3%, respectively.

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