Design of nanostructured photocatalysts for hydrogen production and environmental application

Authors: Dinh, Cao Thang
Advisor: Trong-on, Do; Kleitz, Freddy
Abstract: Semiconductor photocatalysis has been intensively studied over the past decades for a wide variety of applications including hydrogen production from water splitting and decomposition of pollutants in air and water. Currently, TiO2 is the most widely investigated photocatalytic material because of its low cost and outstanding physical and chemical properties. However, its fast electron-hole recombination and light absorption only in ultra-violet region make it inefficient working under sunlight. The goal of the research presented in this thesis is to design efficient TiO2 based photocatalysts by applying various strategies encompassing controlling the morphology of TiO2 particles, coupling TiO2 with metals, and other semiconductors and optimizing porosity of the photocatalysts. We have developed a solvothermal synthetic method for producing highly crystalline TiO2 nanocrystals with various shapes, such as rhombic, spherical, and bar. The obtained TiO2 nanocrystals were then decorated with size-controlled Ag clusters to form Ag-TiO2 hybrids which exhibit superior photocatalytic performance in comparison to conventional Ag-TiO2-P25 photocatalyst. We have also developed a nonhydrolytic technique for the synthesis of uniform titanate nanodisks with controlled diameter in the range of 12 nm to 35 nm. These nanodisks were then used as building blocks for the design of water-soluble CdS–Titanate–Ni multicomponent photocatalysts which are highly active for hydrogen generation due to their effective visible light absorption and efficient charge separation. Finally, we have constructed a three-dimensional ordered assembly of thin-shell Au/TiO2 hollow nanospheres from titanate nanodisk building blocks. The designed photocatalysts exhibit not only a very high specific surface area but also photonic behavior and multiple light scattering, which significantly enhances visible light absorption. As a result, Au/TiO2 hollow nanospheres with three-dimensional ordered structure exhibit a visible-light-driven photocatalytic activity that is several times higher than conventional Au/TiO2 nanopowders.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2014
Open Access Date: 20 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/25314
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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