Corresponding Author

Lan SUN(sunlan@xmu.edu.cn)


Decorating TiO2 nanotube arrays with RGO to improve the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanotube arrays has been reported. For the reported RGO-TiO2 nanotube arrays, TiO2 nanotube arrays were prepared by anodizing the high-purity Ti foil in an organic electrolyte for multiple-step treatments, while RGO were deposited on TiO2 nanotube arrays by using cyclic voltammetry or other electrical reduction methods. To enhance the reduction degree and the coverage of RGO on the resultant RGO-TiO2 nanotube arrays, in this work, the one-step electrochemical anodization in hydrofluoric acid was used to fabricate TiO2 nanotube arrays with different wall thicknesses by adjusting the distance between the cathode and anode. RGO were loaded on the surface of TiO2 nanotube arrays by pulse electroreduction deposition. When the distances between the cathode and anode were 4 and 0.5 cm, respectively, the corresponding wall thicknesses of the as-prepared TiO2 nanotubes were 8 and 14 nm, respectively. Compared with the RGO loaded on the thin-walled TiO2 nanotube arrays, the RGO loaded on the thick-walled TiO2 nanotube arrays were fully reduced and the RGO coverage was greatly improved. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy demonstrated that the reduction degree of RGO loaded on the thick-walled TiO2 nanotube arrays was higher than that of RGO loaded on the thin-walled TiO2 nanotube arrays with the decrease of the oxygen content. UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy showed that the band gap of RGO-TiO2 nanotube arrays became narrower than that of TiO2 nanotube arrays due to the loading of RGO. The photocurrent measurements displayed that the photocurrent density of the RGO loaded thick-walled TiO2 nanotube arrays was significantly increased accordingly, showing good light absorption properties, but also lower charge transfer resistance. The method and results presented in this work would lay a good foundation for the practical photoelectrochemical catalysis application of RGO-TiO2 nanotube arrays.

Graphical Abstract


TiO2 nanotube array, reduced graphene oxide, photoelectrochemical performance

Publication Date


Online Available Date


Revised Date


Received Date



[1] Fujishima A, Honda K . TiO2 photoelectrochemistry and photocatalysis[J]. Nature, 1972,238(5358):37-38.

[2] Ma Y, Wang X, Jia Y S , et al. Titanium dioxide-based nanomaterials for photocatalytic fuel generations[J]. Chemical Reviews, 2014,114(19):9987-10043.
URL pmid: 25098384

[3] Ge M, Cao C, Huang J Y , et al. A review of one-dimensional TiO2 nanostructured materials for environmental and energy applications[J]. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2016,4(18):6772-6801.

[4] Wang X, Li Z D, Shi J , et al. One-dimensional titanium dioxide nanomaterials: nanowires, nanorods, and nanobelts[J]. Chemical Reviews, 2014,114(19):9346-9384.

[5] Dhakshinamoorthy A, Navalon S, Corma A , et al. Photocatalytic CO2 reduction by TiO2 and related titanium containing solids[J]. Energy & Environmental Science, 2012,5(11):9217-9233.

[6] Liu Q H, He J F, Yao T , et al. Aligned Fe2TiO5-containing nanotube arrays with low onset potential for visible-light water oxidation[J]. Nature Communications, 2014,5:5122.

[7] Park H A, Liu S, Oh Y , et al. Nano-photoelectrochemical cell arrays with spatially isolated oxidation and reduction channels[J]. ACS Nano, 2017,11(2):2150-2159.

[8] Wei Y Q, Li L Q, Fang W H , et al. Weak donor-acceptor interaction and interface polarization define photoexcitation dynamics in the MoS2/TiO2 composite: Time-domain Ab initio simulation[J]. Nano Letters, 2017,17(7):4038-4046.

[9] Wang M, Ioccozia J, Sun L , et al. Inorganic-modified semiconductor TiO2 nanotube arrays for photocatalysis[J]. Energy & Environmental Science, 2014,7(7):2182-2202.

[10] Long R, English N J, Prezhdo O V . Minimizing Electronhole recombination on TiO2 sensitized with PbSe quantum dots: Time-domain Ab initio analysis[J]. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2014,5(17):2941-2946.

[11] Low J, Yu J, Jaroniec M , et al. Heterojunction photocatalysts[J]. Advanced Materials, 2017,29(20):1601694.

[12] Guo Q, Zhou C Y, Ma Z B , et al. Elementary photocatalytic chemistry on TiO2 surfaces[J]. Chemical Society Reviews, 2016,45(13):3701-3730.
URL pmid: 26335268

[13] Zheng L X, Han S C, Liu H , et al. Hierarchical MoS2 nanosheet@TiO2 nanotube array composites with enhanced photocatalytic and photocurrent performances[J]. Small, 2016,12(11):1527-1536.

[14] Zhang X F, Zhang B Y, Huang D K , et al. TiO2 nanotubes modified with electrochemically reduced graphene oxide for photoelectrochemical water splitting[J]. Carbon, 2014,80:591-598.

[15] Ge M Z, Li S H, Huang J Y , et al. TiO2 nanotube arrays loaded with reduced graphene oxide films: facile hybridization and promising photocatalytic application[J]. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2015,3(7):3491-3499.

[16] Li F, Zhang L, Tong J C , et al. Photocatalytic CO2 conversion to methanol by Cu2O/graphene/TNA heterostructure catalyst in a visible-light-driven dual-chamber reactor[J]. Nano Energy, 2016,27:320-329.

[17] Lai Y, Sun L, Chen Y , et al. Effects of the structure of TiO2 nanotube array on Ti substrate on its photocatalytic activity[J]. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 2006,153(7):D123-D127.

[18] Vogel D J, Kilin D S . First-principles treatment of photoluminescence in semiconductors[J]. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2015,119(50):27954-27964.

[19] Yeh T F, Chan F F, Hsieh C T , et al. Graphite oxide with different oxygenated levels for hydrogen and oxygen production from water under illumination: the band positions of graphite oxide[J]. The Journal of Physical Phemistry C, 2011,115(45):22587-22597.

[20] Huang Y, Gao Y, Zhang Q , et al. Biocompatible FeOOH-Carbon quantum dots nanocomposites for gaseous NOx removal under visible light: Improved charge separation and high selectivity[J]. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2018,354:54-62.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.