Title: S-TiO2/S-Reduced Graphene Oxide for Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting
Sulfur-doped titanium oxide on the surface of sulfur-doped reduced graphene oxide nanocomposites (S-TiO2/S-RGO) were successfully synthesized for the first time through a simple low cost solvothermal reaction process. The sulfur doping was detected in both TiO2 matrix and carbon framework structure of reduced graphene oxide using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Cross-sectional AFM analysis of S-RGO nanosheets reveals a thickness of 0.51 nm which is much thinner than those previously reported of heteroatom doped-RGO, confirming the single-layer feature. When the as-prepared (S-TiO2/S-RGO) nanocomposites are utilized as photoanodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, they exhibited an enhanced photoelectrochemical performance and long-term stability. The photocurrent density of S-TiO2/S-RGO(0.2) photoanode revealed 3.36 mA/cm2 at 1 V vs Ag/AgCl which is considered 3 times enhancement compared to bare synthesized TiO2. This enhancement in the photocurrent density was attributed to the increased separation rate of photogenerated electrons and holes and efficient visible light harvesting as a result of the successful combination of the S-TiO2 and the S-RGO in the same nanocomposite photoanode. This promising result presents a new approach for the synthesis of high-efficient future metal-free photoelectrocatalysts.
Keywords: S-TiO2; S-RGO; photoanode; Photoelectrochemical water splitting.