This study demonstrates the first known instance of the templating of titanium dioxide nanotube arrays by laser induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) and subsequent electrochemical anodization. Titanium dioxide is an established photocatalyst, however it suffers from poor visible light absorption, thus limiting its use under solar irradiation. Thermal annealing can enhance the visible light absorption, with the downside of introducing more defect traps that reduce the lifetime of the charge separated state. Hence, this study proposes an alternative to chemical methods, by modulating the surface profile of the nanotube array to trap visible light. The enhanced visible light absorption is predicted via computational modelling and the morphological evolution of the anodization process was investigated. This study provides the basis for further work into LIPSS templating of other anodized transition metal oxide materials.
Rakesh Arul, Reece N. Oosterbeek, Junzhe Dong, Wei Gao, and M. Cather Simpson, "Ultrafast laser patterning and defect generation in titania nanotubes for the enhancement of optical and photocatalytic properties," Proc. SPIE 10093, Synthesis and Photonics of Nanoscale Materials XIV, 100930K (Presented at SPIE LASE: February 02, 2017; Published: 20 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253119.
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