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Control of spatially homogeneous distribution of heteroatoms to produce red TiO2 photocatalyst for visible-light photocatalytic water splitting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Open Access Status

  • Embargoed (until 2/01/20)


Xingxing Hong, Jun Tan, Huaze Zhu, Ningdong Feng, Yongqiang Yang, John Irvine, Lianzhou Wang, Gang Liu, Hui-Ming Cheng

School/Research organisations


The strong band-to-band absorption of photocatalysts spanning the whole visible light region (400-700 nm) is critically important for solar-driven photocatalysis. Although it is actively and widely used as photocatalyst for various reactions in the past four decades, TiO2 has a very poor ability to capture the whole-spectrum visible light. Here, by controlling the spatially homogeneous distribution of boron and nitrogen heteroatoms in anatase TiO2 microspheres with a predominance of high-energy {001} facets, a strong visible light absorption spectrum with a sharp edge beyond 680 nm is achieved. The red TiO2 with the homogeneous doping of boron and nitrogen obtained shows no increase in defects like Ti3+ that are commonly observed in doped TiO2. More importantly, it has the ability to induce photocatalytic water oxidation to produce oxygen under the irradiation of visible light beyond 550 nm and also photocatalytic reducing water to produce hydrogen under visible light. These results demonstrate the great promise of using the red TiO2 for visible light photocatalytic water splitting and also provide an attractive strategy for realizing the wide-spectrum visible light absorption of wide-bandgap oxide photocatalysts.


Original languageEnglish
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
VolumeEarly View
Early online date2 Jan 2019
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • Titanium dioxide, Photocatalysis, Homogeneous doping, Water splititng, Visible light

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