Solvothermal Process Assisted Sensitization of 1D Anodized TiO2 Nanotubes with 0D Cadmium Chalcogenides (CdTe, CdS) for Efficient Solar to Clean Energy Generation
AdvisorSubramanian, Vaidyanathan Ravi
Chemical and Materials Engineering
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The creation of an n-n heterojunction between TiO2 nanotubes (T_NT) and CdTe nanocrystals (which mostly exist as p-type) is crucial for realizing the benefits of efficient directional charge transport in a photoanode of 1D/0D architecture. The presented one-pot solvothermal approach leverages temperature control to achieve linker-free spatial distribution of CdTe nanocrystals (NCs) on T_NT resulting in highly efficient optical and photoelectrochemical responses. As a result of this positive outcome, a comparative study between the solvothermal approach and the linker mediated approach was performed on water oxidation with CdS NC decorated T_NT. Solvothermally synthesized T_NT/CdS photoelectrode presents ~600% higher value of short-circuit current density (Isc) than that of the plain T_NT (0.95 mA/cm2); in addition, it demonstrates 4.20-fold increased applied-bias-to photoconversion efficiency (ABPE) in comparison with the lone T_NT (0.77%). However, linker mediated T_NT/MPA-CdS photoelectrode exhibits relatively lower value of Isc (2.51 mA/cm2) and ABPE (1.79 %).