alexa New Insights into the Photocatalytic Properties of RuO2 TiO2MesoporousHeterostructures for Hydrogen Production and Organic Pollutant Photodecomposition.
Materials Science

Materials Science

Research & Reviews: Journal of Material Sciences

Author(s): Md Tamez Uddin, Odile Babot, Laurent Thomas, Cline Olivier, Matteo Redaelli

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Photocatalytic activities of mesoporous RuO2/TiO2 heterojunction nanocomposites for organic dye decomposition and H2 production by methanol photoreforming have been studied as a function of the RuO2 loading in the 1–10 wt % range. An optimum RuO2 loading was evidenced for both kinds of reaction, the corresponding nanocomposites showing much higher activities than pure TiO2 and commercial reference P25. Thus, 1 wt % RuO2/TiO2 photocatalyst led to the highest rates for the degradation of cationic (methylene blue) and anionic (methyl orange) dyes under UV light illumination. To get a better understanding of the mechanisms involved, a comprehensive investigation on the photogenerated charge carriers, detected by electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy in the form of O–, Ti3+, and O2– trapping centers, was performed. Along with the key role of superoxide paramagnetic species in the photodecomposition of organic dyes, ESR measurements revealed a higher amount of trapped holes in the case of the 1 wt % RuO2/TiO2 photocatalyst that allowed rationalizing the trends observed. On the other hand, a maximum average hydrogen production rate of 618 μmol h–1 was reached with 5 wt % RuO2/TiO2 photocatalyst to be compared with 29 μmol h–1 found without RuO2. Favorable band bending at the RuO2/TiO2 interface and the key role of photogenerated holes have been proposed to explain the highest activity of the RuO2/TiO2 photocatalysts for hydrogen production. These findings open new avenues for further design of RuO2/TiO2 nanostructures with a fine-tuning of the RuO2 nanoparticle distribution in order to reach optimized vectorial charge distribution and enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen production rates.

This article was published in J PhysChem C and referenced in Research & Reviews: Journal of Material Sciences

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