Effect of Multiply Twinned Ag(0) Nanoparticles on Photocatalytic Properties of TiO2 Nanosheets and TiO2 Nanostructured Thin Films

BAKARDJIEVA, Snejana – MAREŠ, Jakub – KOCI, Eva – TOLASZ, Jakub – FAJGAR, Radek – RYUKHTIN, Vasyl – KLEMENTOVÁ, Mariana – MICHNA, Štefan – BIBOVÁ, Hana – HOLMESTAD, Randi – TITORENKOVA, Rositsa – ČAPLOVIČOVÁ, Mária.

In Nanomaterials. Vol. 12, iss. 5 (2022)



Ag-decorated TiO2 nanostructured materials are promising photocatalysts. We used non-standard cryo-lyophilization and ArF laser ablation methods to produce TiO2 nanosheets and TiO2 nanostructured thin films decorated with Ag nanoparticles. Both methods have a common advantage in that they provide a single multiply twinned Ag(0) characterized by {111} twin boundaries. Advanced microscopy techniques and electron diffraction patterns revealed the formation of multiply twinned Ag(0) structures at elevated temperatures (500 °C and 800 °C). The photocatalytic activity was demonstrated by the efficient degradation of 4-chlorophenol and Total Organic Carbon removal using Ag-TiO2 nanosheets, because the multiply twinned Ag(0) served as an immobilized photocatalytically active center. Ag-TiO2 nanostructured thin films decorated with multiply twinned Ag(0) achieved improved photoelectrochemical water splitting due to the additional induction of a plasmonic effect. The photocatalytic properties of TiO2 nanosheets and TiO2 nanostructured thin films were correlated with the presence of defect-twinned structures formed from Ag(0) nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution, tuned to between 10 and 20 nm. This work opens up new possibilities for understanding the defects generated in Ag-TiO2 nanostructured materials and paves the way for connecting their morphology with their photocatalytic activity.