Assembly of 3D Network Structures of Copper and Copper (I) Oxide/Titanate Nanobelt-based Nanocomposites for Highly Effective Photocatalyst

B. Jancar, M. Logar, I. Bracko
Jozef stefan institute, SI

Keywords: network composite films, Cu and CuO nanoparticles, titanate nanobelts, photocatalyst

Summary:

1D titanate-based nanostructures influences exciton recombination dynamics and thus enhances photocatalytic performance compared to extensively studied TiO2-based nanomaterials. The attachment of semiconductor and metallic particles on the surface of titanate nanostrctures results in efficient charge separation whereas localized SPR-induced near field enhances excitation of semiconductor and thus expands photoactivity to visible range. p-type semiconducting nanoparticles attached to the surface of n-type photocatalyst may expand the absorption range by acceleration of electron-hole separation due to the potential difference formed at p-n interface. We combined layer-by-layer assembly and in-situ nanoparticle precipitation within weak polyelectrolyte multilayer covered surface of hydrothermally synthesized titanate nanobelts (TiNBs) approaches to form highly photoactive nanocomposite films. A network structure was assembled on the substrate by sequential deposition of preformed structures and negatively charged polyelectrolyte, which after annealing yielded nanocomposite films of copper and copper(I) oxide nanoparticles and TiNBs. The approach allows uniform distribution and control over the size of the semiconducting and metallic particles within the network structures, which is the key parameter for effective electronic interactions that control exciton transfer and recombination dynamics of the nanostructured photocatalyst.