Get access

Robust Hollow Spheres Consisting of Alternating Titania Nanosheets and Graphene Nanosheets with High Photocatalytic Activity for CO2 Conversion into Renewable Fuels

Authors

  • Wenguang Tu,

    1. School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    2. Eco-materials and Renewable Energy Research Center (ERERC), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Yong Zhou,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    2. Eco-materials and Renewable Energy Research Center (ERERC), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    3. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    • School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Qi Liu,

    1. Eco-materials and Renewable Energy Research Center (ERERC), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    3. School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, Anhui Polytechnic University, Wuhu 241000, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Zhongping Tian,

    1. School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    2. Eco-materials and Renewable Energy Research Center (ERERC), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jun Gao,

    1. School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    2. Eco-materials and Renewable Energy Research Center (ERERC), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xiaoyu Chen,

    1. School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Haitao Zhang,

    1. CAS Key Lab of Green Process & Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100190, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jianguo Liu,

    1. Eco-materials and Renewable Energy Research Center (ERERC), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    2. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    3. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Zhigang Zou

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    2. Eco-materials and Renewable Energy Research Center (ERERC), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    3. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    4. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
    • School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P. R. China.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Robust hollow spheres consisting of molecular-scale alternating titania (Ti0.91O2) nanosheets and graphene (G) nanosheets are successfully fabricated by a layer-by-layer assembly technique with polymer beads as sacrificial templates using a microwave irradiation technique to simultaneously remove the template and reduce graphene oxide into graphene. The molecular scale, 2D contact of Ti0.91O2 nanosheets and G nanosheets in the hollow spheres is distinctly different from the prevenient G-based TiO2 nanocomposites prepared by simple integration of TiO2 and G nanosheets. The nine times increase of the photocatalytic activity of G-Ti0.91O2 hollow spheres relative to commercial P25 TiO2 is confirmed with photoreduction of CO2 into renewable fuels (CO and CH4). The large enhancement in the photocatalytic activity benefits from: 1) the ultrathin nature of Ti0.91O2 nanosheets allowing charge carriers to move rapidly onto the surface to participate in the photoreduction reaction; 2) the sufficiently compact stacking of ultrathin Ti0.91O2 nanosheets with G nanosheets allowing the photogenerated electron to transfer fast from the Ti0.91O2 nanosheets to G to enhance lifetime of the charge carriers; and 3) the hollow structure potentially acting as a photon trap-well to allow the multiscattering of incident light for the enhancement of light absorption.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary