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Chem Asian J. 2013 Jan;8(1):282-9. doi: 10.1002/asia.201200886. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Enhancing the photocatalytic activity of anatase TiO2 by improving the specific facet-induced spontaneous separation of photogenerated electrons and holes.

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State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005, China.


Recently, it has been proven that directional flow of photogenerated charge carriers occurs on specific facets of TiO(2) nanocrystals. Herein, we demonstrate that the photocatalytic activity of anatase TiO(2) nanocrystals in both photoreduction and photooxidation processes can be enhanced by selectively depositing Pt nanoparticles on the {101} facets, which strengthens spontaneously surface-induced separation between photogenerated electrons and holes in the photocatalysis process. An optimal ratio of the oxidative {001} facets to the reductive {101} facets exists with regard to the photocatalysis of the faceted TiO(2) nanocrystals, and this is crucial for balancing the recombination and redox reaction rates of photogenerated electrons and holes. The present work might help us gain deeper insight into the relation between the specific surface of semiconductor photocatalysts and their photocatalytic activities and provides us with a new route to design photocatalysts with high photocatalytic activity.

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