TiO2 thin films containing different concentrations of Ag nanoparticles have been synthesized by sol-gel method. According to UV-visible spectra, presence of an intense surface plasmon resonance peak at 490 nm of wavelength indicated formation of silver nanoparticles in the TiO2 films. Based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis, the surface roughness and the effective surface ratio increased by increasing the Ag mol%. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed formation of Ag nanoparticles on the surface for the samples containing high Ag concentration. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns revealed that the size of Ag nanocrystals increased by increasing the Ag content in the films while the nanocrystalline size of TiO2 reduced in the presence of silver nanoparticles. Based on x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) data, a stoichiometric chemical composition was detected for TiO2 while, Ag presented in a combination a metal/oxide states on the surface. Studying photoresponse of the samples showed that the highest photocurrent was obtained for the sample containing 1 mol% Ag. By measuring the photovoltage versus time, it was found that addition of silver nanoparticles to the TiO2 layer resulted in reduction of the transient time of the photogenerated carriers in the samples. Impedance spectroscopy determined a slight decrease in charge transfer resistance by addition of Ag to the films. Moreover, measuring the amount of hydrogen produced during water splitting reactions verified that the highest quantum yield of 9.6% was obtained for the sample with 1 mol% Ag.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Research and Technology Council of Sharif University of Technology for financial support. Useful assistance of Mr. S Rafiee for XPS measurements and Mrs. Vaseghinia for AFM images is greatly acknowledged.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology