Surface decoration strategy for one-dimensional nanostructures will improve their electrical, optical, mechanical, and electrochemical performances dramatically. Heterogeneous growth/deposition on surfaces, however, may create undesired junction interfaces in the system. Here we report a procedure during which amorphous titania nanotubes are readily self-branched with crystalline titanate nanorods at room temperature. The starting amorphous titania nanotubes were prepared by low-temperature atomic layer deposition combined with the template-directed approach. We routinely observed the self-branching phenomenon of crystalline titanate nanorods with a few nanometers in diameter onto the surfaces of the amorphous titania nanotubes in mild alkali solutions. The resulting structures were analyzed by field-emission scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and electron energy loss spectroscopy. The reactivity of the hierarchical titania nanotube arrays was observed to be improved as a Li secondary battery electrode. Upon complete consumption of the amorphous body of titania nanotubes, in addition, titanate nanosheets/layers consisting of single TiO2 layers with unit-cell thickness were obtained, elucidating the formation mechanism of layered titanate materials by alkali treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)