Improved photoelectrochemical properties of TiO2 nanotubes doped with Er and effects on hydrogen production from water splitting

Hyekyung Cho, Hyunku Joo, Hansung Kim, Ji Eun Kim, Kyoung Soo Kang, Jaekyung Yoon

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Erbium-doped TiO2 nanotubes (Er–TiO2 NTs) are prepared with a combination of anodization and electrochemical deposition using various proportions of erbium and adjusting the time of the process. The surface characterization techniques and electrochemical analysis are applied to study the physicochemical and photoelectrochemical (PEC) properties of the as-prepared photocatalysts. Er–TiO2 NTs have crystal sizes of about 24–30 nm, smaller than those of pure TiO2 NTs, and contain only the anatase phase. Er–TiO2 NTs exhibit an effective photo-conversion efficiency (PCE) of 1.58% and a photosensitivity of 115.06. The modified sample are also more efficient (photocurrent density of 6.64 mAcm−2 at a bias potential of 1.5 V vs. Hg/HgO) compare to pure TiO2 NTs. The photocatalytic activity of the Er–TiO2 NTs are evaluated in a hydrogen generation reaction, and the results show hydrogen production of ∼17.39 μmolhr−1cm−2. Further experiments demonstrate that Er–TiO2 NTs successfully degrade methylene blue, with the most active sample reaching 85% photocatalysis after 180 min. This study shows that doping conditions significantly affect the optical and electrical properties of the resulting material, and that the current electrochemical approach to metal doping can be used for efficient and stable PEC water splitting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129289
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by a grant from the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Grant 21HSCT-B157908-02 ), Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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