Novel phosphorus doped carbon nitride modified TiO2 nanotube arrays with improved photoelectrochemical performance
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This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry. Novel phosphorus-doped graphitic-carbon nitride (P-C3N4) modified vertically aligned TiO2 nanotube arrays (NTs) were designed and synthesized. They can significantly enhance the conduction and utilization of photogenerated charge carriers of TiO2 NTs. The heterostructure was successfully fabricated through a three-step process: electrochemical anodization and wet-dipping followed by thermal polymerization. The prepared P-C3N4/TiO2 NTs exhibit enhanced light-absorption characteristics and improved charge separation and transfer ability, thus resulting in a 3-fold photocurrent (1.98 mA cm-2 at 0 V vs. Ag/AgCl) compared with that of pure TiO2 NTs (0.66 mA cm-2 at 0 V vs. Ag/AgCl) in 1 M NaOH solution. The prepared P-C3N4/TiO2 NT photoelectrodes also present excellent photocatalytic and photoelectrocatalytic capabilities in the degradation of methylene blue (MB). The kinetic rate of P-C3N4/TiO2 NTs in the photoelectrocatalytic process for MB is 2.7 times that of pristine TiO2 NTs. Furthermore, the prepared sample was used as a photoanode for solar-driven water splitting, giving a H2 evolution rate of 36.6 µmol h-1 cm-2 at 1.0 V vs. RHE under simulated solar light illumination. This novel structure with a rational design for a visible light response shows potential for metal free materials in photoelectrochemical applications.