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Keywords:

  • crystal growth;
  • hydrothermal synthesis;
  • nanostructures;
  • photocatalysis;
  • reaction mechanisms

Abstract

For the first time, a facile, one-pot hydrofluoric acid vapor-phase hydrothermal (HF-VPH) method is demonstrated to directly grow single-crystalline anatase TiO2 nanosheets with 98.2% of exposed {001} faceted surfaces on the Ti substrate via a distinctive two-stage formation mechanism. The first stage produces a new intermediate crystal (orthorhombic HTiOF3) that is transformed into anatase TiO2 nanosheets during the second stage. The findings reveal that the HF-VPH reaction environment is unique and differs remarkably from that of liquid-phase hydrothermal processes. The uniqueness of the HF-VPH conditions can be readily used to effectively control the nanostructure growth.