Soft-template-carbonization route to highly textured mesoporous carbon-TiO2 inverse opals for efficient photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical applications

Li Na Quan, Yoon Hee Jang, Kelsey A. Stoerzinger, Kevin J. May, Yu Jin Jang, Saji Thomas Kochuveedu, Yang Shao-Horn, Dong Ha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hierarchically organized mesoporous carbon-TiO2 inverse opal nanostructures were synthesized by complementary colloid and block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly, where the triblock copolymer P123 acts simultaneously as the template and the carbon source. Highly ordered mesoporous inverse opal nanostructures with a nano-textured surface morphology and multiple-length scale nanopores provide increased light-activated surface area and scattering effects, leading to enhanced photoabsorption efficiency and the transport of matter. UV-vis absorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Mott-Schottky measurement studies show that incorporation of carbon moieties into TiO 2via direct conversion of BCPs creates a new energy level above the valence band of TiO2, resulting in an effective decrease in the band gap. A significantly enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity was demonstrated for the mesoporous carbon-TiO2 inverse opals in terms of the degradation of p-nitrophenol (∼79%) and photoelectrochemical water splitting (∼0.087%). This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9023-9030
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume16
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 May 2014

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