Hybridization with conductive nanospecies has attracted intense research interest as a general effective means to improve the photocatalytic functionalities of nanostructured materials. To establish universal design rules for high-performance hybrid photocatalysts, correlations between versatile roles of conductive species and interfacial interaction between hybridized species are systematically investigated through fine-control of intersheet distance between photocatalytically active TiO2 and metallic reduced graphene oxide (rGO)/RuO2 nanosheets. Molecular-level tailoring of intersheet distance and electronic coupling between 2D nanosheets can be successfully achieved by restacking of colloidal nanosheet mixture with variable-sized organic intercalants. While the shortest intersheet distance between restacked TiO2 and rGO nanosheets leads to the highest visible-light-driven photocatalytic activity, the best UV–vis photocatalyst performance occurs for moderate intersheet spacing. These results highlight the greater sensitivity of photoinduced electronic excitation to the intersheet distance than that of interfacial charge transfer. The rGO nanosheet can function as effective charge transport pathway and cocatalyst within ≈1.7 nm distance from the semiconducting nanosheet, and as efficient stabilizer for hybridized photocatalyst within ≈1.8 nm. The present study underscores that the intercalative restacking of colloidal nanosheet mixture with intercalants enables molecular-level control of distance between 2D inorganic/graphene nanosheets, which provides a rational design strategy for high-performance hybrid photocatalysts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. NRF‐2020R1A2C3008671) and by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. NRF‐2017R1A5A1015365). This work was also supported by the Technology Innovation Program—Alchemist Project (No. 20012315) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea). The experiments at PAL were supported in part by MOST and POSTECH.
© 2021 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Science(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)