We report a synergistic effect of flame and chemical reduction methods to maximize the efficiency of solar water splitting in transferred TiO2 nanotube (TNT) arrays on a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) substrate. The flame reduction method (>1000 °C) leads to few oxygen vacancies in the anatase TNT arrays, but it exhibits unique advantages for excellent interfacial characteristics between transferred TNT arrays and TCO substrates, which subsequently induce a cathodic on-set potential shift and sharp photocurrent evolution. By contrast, the employed chemical reduction method for TNT arrays/TCO gives rise to an abrupt increase in photocurrent density, which results from the efficient formation of oxygen vacancies in the anatase TiO2 phase, but a decrease in charge transport efficiency with increasing chemical reduction time. We show that flame reduction followed by chemical reduction could significantly improve the saturation photocurrent density and interfacial property of TNT arrays/TCO photoanodes simultaneously without mechanical fracture via the synergistic effects of coreducing methods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering