Titanium dioxide (TiO2) photoelectrodes that offer high light absorption and efficient charge separation hold great promise in photocatalysis. In this study, a simple and controllable method for fabricating hierarchical TiO2−x photoelectrodes by coupling femtosecond laser processing and anodization is proposed. The fabricated photoelectrodes consist of microcones (approximately 150,000 per square centimetre) covered with large quantities of nanotubes. The hierarchical structures possess significant light-trapping effect, meanwhile, oxygen vacancies were simultaneously introduced through laser processing with anodization, which can be attributed to the fs-laser mediated lattice phase transformation (polycrystalline and amorphous layer) of titanium. With the synergistic effects of hierarchical structures and oxygen vacancies, the hierarchical TiO2−x electrode exhibited a narrowed bandgap (1.95 eV) and remarkable light absorption. Especially under visible light, this photoelectrode demonstrated 15-fold photocurrent enhancement and double the usual photodegradation rate of methylene blue. This morphological control and defect introduction method may be extensively used in efficient solar utilisation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFB1104300 ), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51775047 ), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51575053 ).
- Femtosecond laser processing
- Oxygen vacancies
- TiO hierarchical structures