The researchers prepare the micropillar (MP) and microcave (MC) arrays of anatase TiO2 films through the sol-gel based thermal nanoimprinting method. Then the MP/MC TiO2 films are employed as seed layers in the following hydrothermal growth of rutile TiO2NRs forming hierarchical micro- and nano- structures. Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are further deposited onto the surfaces of the 3D photoanodes. The PEC performance of the resulted MP-TiO2NR-GQDs electrode is more than tripled of the TiO2NRs electrode on flat seed layer.

“It’s worth noting that both thermal nanoimprint and hydrothermal method have the potential of large-scale production.” Professor Li tells “The nanoimprint apparatus used in our lab is developed and assembled all by ourselves and we are now devoted to promoting 3D geometry engineering through nanoimprinting in different fields, such as photodetector, solar cells and so on.”

From this research, the researchers believe that the facile and cost-effective method with large scale integration capability will shed new light on the design and fabrication strategies for other optoelectronic devices.

More information about this research can be found in the journal Nanotechnology 27 115401.

Further reading

Restoring the stoichiometry of CdS films (Aug 2015)
Bent substrate enhances water splitting (Jul 2012)