Mar 11, 2009
Nanocomposite targets hydrogen generation
Nanocomposite catalysts (MWNT-TiO2), which are hydrothermally prepared from functionalized MWNTs and titanium sulfate, demonstrate photocatalytic hydrogen production under visible light or full spectra irradiation thanks to the combination of MWNTs and TiO2 nanoparticles.
Combining MWNTs with TiO2 can efficiently enhance light absorption and charge separation and then photocatalytic activity. This is due to the chemical bonding between the modified MWNTs and TiO2, derived from direct growth of TiO2 nanoparticles on the surface of the MWNTs during the hydrothermal process. Furthermore, the MWNT-TiO2 nanocomposites showed visible-light-driven photocatalytic activity, which is not observed for a simple mixture of MWNTs and TiO2 nanoparticles. This results from the different situation of phase contact between MWNTs and TiO2.
These findings are crucial for synthesis of photocatalysts with high conversion efficiency of solar light to the photocatalytic hydrogen production.
The researchers presented their work in Nanotechnology.
About the author
The work was performed at Wuhan University and the University of Delaware and supported by both NSFC and NSF. Ke Dai is a PhD student studying nanomaterial preparation and photocatalytic applications, under the supervision of Prof. T Y Peng. Dr Peng is currently a professor at Wuhan University and the director of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry (Department of Chemistry and Molecule Science). Ke Dingning is a PhD student studying materials chemistry and physics at Wuhan University. Dr B Q Wei is currently an associate professor at the University of Delaware (Department of Mechanical Engineering).