Electrochemical method for synthesis of a ZnFe 2O 4/TiO 2 composite nanotube array modified electrode with enhanced photoelectrochemical activity
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An electrode with intimate and well-aligned ZnFe 2O 4/TiO 2 composite nanotube arrays is prepared via electrochemical anodization of pure titanium foil in fluorine-containing ethylene glycol, followed by a novel cathodic electrodeposition method. The deposition of ZnFe 2O 4 is promoted in the selfaligned, vertically oriented TiO 2 nanotube arrays but minimized at the tube entrances. Thus, pore clogging is prevented. Environmental scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectra, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction patterns, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy indicate that the as-prepared samples are highly ordered and vertically aligned TiO 2 nanotube arrays with ZnFe 2O 4 nanoparticles loading. The TiO 2 nanotubes are anatase with the preferential orientation of <101> plane. Enhanced absorption in both UVand visible light regions is observed for the composite nanotube arrays. The current-voltage curve of ZnFe 2O 4-loaded TiO 2 nanotube arrays reveals a rectifying behavior. The enhanced separation of photoinduced electrons and holes is demonstrated by surface photovoltage and photocurrent measurements. Meanwhile, the photoelectrochemical investigations verify that the ZnFe 2O 4/TiO 2 composite nanotube array modified electrode has a more effective photoconversion capability than the aligned TiO 2 nanotube arrays alone. In addition, the photoelectrocatalytic ability of the novel electrode is found enhanced in the degradation of 4-chlorophenol. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
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