The superior photocatalytic performance and DFT insights of S-scheme CuO@TiO2 heterojunction composites for simultaneous degradation of organics

Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 9;12(1):2217. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-05981-7.


The necessity to resolve the issue of rapid charge carrier recombination for boosting photocatalytic performance is a vigorous and challenging research field. To address this, the construction of a binary system of step-scheme (S-scheme) CuO@TiO2 heterostructure composite has been demonstrated through a facile solid-state route. The remarkably enhanced photocatalytic performance of CuO@TiO2, compared with single TiO2, which can consequence in the more efficient separation of photoinduced charge carriers, reduced the band gap of TiO2, improved the electrical transport performance, and improved the lifetimes, thus donating it with the much more powerful oxidation and reduction capability. A photocatalytic mechanism was proposed to explain the boosted photocatalytic performance of CuO@TiO2 on a complete analysis of physicochemical, DFT calculations, and electrochemical properties. In addition, this work focused on the investigation of the stability and recyclability of CuO@TiO2 in terms of efficiency and its physical origin using XRD, BET, and XPS. It is found that the removal efficiency diminishes 4.5% upon five recycling runs. The current study not only promoted our knowledge of the binary system of S-scheme CuO@TiO2 heterojunction composite photocatalyst but also shed new light on the design of heterostructure photocatalysts with high-performance and high stability.