Photocatalytic Performance of Cu/TiO2-xNx Nanotube Arrays Enhanced by Surface Plasmon Resonance and Application in Hydrogen Evolution by Water Splitting

L. Kang, E. Liu, X. Hu, J. Fan, F. Wu, X. Fan, W. Hou, H. Wu, Q. Wang
Northwest University, CN

Keywords: surface plasmon resonance, nanotube arrays, nanoparticals, photocatalysis, water splitting


Studies revealed that noble metal (Au, Ag, Pd) nanoparticles can improve the photoresponse property of TiO2 in the visible region based on the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect, and enhance the activity of TiO2 photocatalyst. In this study, transition metal Cu was employed to modify the photoactivity of N doped-TiO2 (TiO2-xNx) nanotube arrays based on its SPR effect, because Cu exhibits the similar electronic structure compared with the Au, Ag, Pd. In this paper, TiO2 nanotube arrays (TiO2 NTs) were fabricated by anodic oxidation, and Cu nanoparticles (Cu NPs) were assembled in TiO2 NTs (Cu/TiO2 NTs) by polyol reduction. The SPR effect of Cu NPs could not only effectively enhance the visible light absorption of TiO2 NTs, but also enhance Raman scattering spectra of TiO2-xNx NTs. Furthermore, Cu NPs could restrain the recombination of photo-generated electron-hole pairs of TiO2 NTs. The experimental results showed that Cu/TiO2-xNx NTs samples had better photocatalytic activity than that of pure TiO2 NTs, which was largely attributed to the SPR of Cu NPs.