Disordered-Layer-Mediated Reverse Metal-Oxide Interactions for Enhanced Photocatalytic Water Splitting

Yoonjun Cho, Bumsu Park, Deepak K. Padhi, Ismail A.M. Ibrahim, Sungsoon Kim, Kwang Hee Kim, Kug Seung Lee, Chang Lyoul Lee, Jeong Woo Han, Sang Ho Oh, Jong Hyeok Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In heterogeneous catalysts, metal-oxide interactions occur spontaneously but often in an undesired way leading to the oxidation of metal nanoparticles. Manipulating such interactions to produce highly active surface of metal nanoparticles can warrant the optimal catalytic activity but has not been established to date. Here we report that a prior reduced TiO2 support can reverse the interaction with Pt nanoparticles and augment the metallic state of Pt, exhibiting a 3-fold increase in hydrogen production rate compared to that of conventional Pt/TiO2. Spatially resolved electron energy loss spectroscopy of the Ti valence state and the electron density distribution within Pt nanoparticles provide direct evidence supporting that the Pt/TiO2/H2O triple junctions are the most active catalytic sites for water reduction. Our reverse metal-oxide interaction scheme provides a breakthrough in the stagnated hydrogen production efficiency and can be applied to other heterogeneous catalyst systems composed of metal nanoparticles with reducible oxide supports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5247-5253
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 23

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (Grants NRF-2020R1A2C2101735, NRF-2019R1A2C3010479, NRF-2019M1A2A2065612, NRF-2019R1A4A1029237, and NRF-2019M3D1A1079309) and by Creative Materials Discovery Program through NRF (Grant NRF-2019M3D1A1078296) funded by the Korean government (MSIT).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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