Significantly enhanced cocatalyst-free H2 evolution from defect-engineered Brown TiO2

S. Jagadeesh Babu, V. Navakoteswara Rao, Dharmapura H.K. Murthy, Mahesh Shastri, Murthy M, Manjunath Shetty, K. S.Anantha Raju, Prasanna D. Shivaramu, C. S.Ananda Kumar, M. V. Shankar, Dinesh Rangappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


TiO2 is the extensively investigated materials for various photocatalytic reforming and water splitting. Superior stability towards photo-corrosion, appropriate band energy levels driving most photocatalytic reactions, and low-cost production are promising features of TiO2. However, a primary limitation with TiO2 is that it only absorbs ultraviolet light constituting less than 5% of the solar spectrum. In this work, we use a facile, low temperature, vacuum-free, and solution-route synthesis approach to rationally induce oxygen vacancy/Ti3+ defects to reduce the bandgap of TiO2 to 2.0 eV (3.2 eV for pristine white TiO2) to form brown TiO2 with enhanced visible-light absorption. The mechanism of defect formation is systematically deduced from the detailed investigation through Raman spectroscopy, spin-sensitive technique, high-resolution microscopy, and surface analysis. The brown TiO2 yielded 8.1 mmol h−1g−1cat H2 evolution without any cocatalyst under natural sunlight, which is a factor two higher than pristine (white) TiO2. To the best of our knowledge, the observed H2 evolution rate is the highest reported value under natural sunlight for any TiO2-based photocatalyst. This work demonstrates the applicability of brown TiO2 to fabricate large-area photocatalyst panels for the cost-effective production of solar H2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14821-14828
Number of pages8
JournalCeramics International
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15-05-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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