Doping high-surface-area mesoporous TiO2 microspheres with carbonate for visible light hydrogen production

Bin Liu, Li Min Liu, Xiu Feng Lang, Hsin Yi Wang, Xiong Wen Lou, Eray S. Aydil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


First-principles calculations suggest that doping TiO2 with carbonate can effectively reduce the bandgap of TiO2, thus making TiO2 photoactive in the visible region of the solar spectrum. Herein we report a simple "one-pot" solvothermal method for synthesizing brown carbonate-doped TiO2 microspheres. The diameter of the TiO 2 microsphere is tunable from ∼0.5 to 4 μm with the nanopore size in the range of 3-11 nm. Remarkably, the specific surface area of these nanoporous anatase TiO2 microspheres can be as high as 500 m 2 g-1. A controllable amount of carbonate could be incorporated into TiO2 through low-temperature post-synthesis annealing, which extends the light absorption of the TiO2 microspheres from the ultraviolet to the visible region of the solar spectrum. Very high photocatalytic activity of these carbonate-doped TiO2 microspheres was demonstrated in the visible light region for both photocatalytic production of hydrogen from water and degradation of methyl orange. Under 3 Sun visible-light illumination (λ ≥ 400 nm), the carbonate-doped TiO2 microspheres can produce 0.2 mmol H2 h-1 g-1 of photocatalyst, which is significantly higher than those from various other TiO2 photocatalysts. This journal is

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2592-2597
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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