Surface Properties of 1DTiO2 Microrods Modified with Copper (Cu) and Nanocavities

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Jan 27;11(2):324. doi: 10.3390/nano11020324.


This work deals with Cu-modified 1DTiO2 microrods (MRs) and their surface properties. The pristine lyophilized precursor Cu_1DTiO2, prepared by an environmentally friendly cryo-lyophilization method, was further annealed in the temperature interval from 500 to 950 °C. The microstructure of all samples was characterized by electron microscopy (SEM/EDS and HRTEM/SAED), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), infrared spectroscopy, simultaneous DTA/TGA thermoanalytical measurement, and mass spectroscopy (MS). Special attention was paid to the surface structure and porosity. The 1D morphology of all annealed samples was preserved, but their surface roughness varied due to anatase-rutile phase transformation and the change of the nanocrystals habits due to nanocavities formation after releasing of confined ice-water. The introduction of 2 wt.% Cu as electronically active second species significantly reduced the direct bandgap of 1DTiO2 in comparison with undoped TiO2 and the standard Degussa TiO2_P25. All samples were tested for their UV absorption properties and H2 generation by PEC water splitting. We presented a detailed study on the surface characteristics of Cu doped 1DTiO2 MRs due to gain a better idea of their photocatalytic activity.

Keywords: Cu doping; lyophilization; microrods; surface structure; titanium dioxide.