Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics

, Volume 30, Issue 17, pp 16030–16040 | Cite as

Homostructured rutile TiO2 nanotree arrays thin film electrodes with nitrogen doping for enhanced photoelectrochemical performance

  • Xiangmei Ning
  • Jinliang HuangEmail author
  • Lihua Li
  • Yongjun Gu
  • Shuguo Jia
  • Ranfeng Qiu
  • Senlin Li
  • Bok H. Kim


Homostructured rutile TiO2 nanotree arrays thin films with nitrogen doping were synthesized on FTO glass substrates via a two-step hydrothermal method. The crystal structure and morphology of nanotree arrays thin films were characterized by means of X-ray diffractometer and field-emission scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, the optical and photoelectrochemical performance of nitrogen doped TiO2 nanotree arrays thin films was analyzed respectively using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, linear sweep voltammetry, transient photocurrent and Mott–Schottky measurements. The results showed that nitrogen doping significantly affected the morphology of branched nanostructure, electron energy band structure, electron transportation and charge carrier recombination at the surface and interface of nanotrees. Optimized photoelectrochemical performance was achieved with relatively lower electron transport resistance and higher photocurrent density by the TiO2 nanotree arrays thin film with N/Ti molar ratio of 1, which can be mainly attributed to the formation of appropriate branched nanostructure to improve photoexcited electrons rate and new localized mid-gap states energy levels due to the nitrogen doping.



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 50571035 and 51875177) and Natural Science Foundation of Henan Province (Grant No. 162300410088).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiangmei Ning
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jinliang Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Lihua Li
    • 1
  • Yongjun Gu
    • 1
  • Shuguo Jia
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ranfeng Qiu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Senlin Li
    • 1
  • Bok H. Kim
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringHenan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangChina
  2. 2.The Key Laboratory of Henan Province on Nonferrous Metallic Materials Science and Fabrication TechnologyLuoyangChina
  3. 3.Innovation Center of Nonferrous Metals of Henan ProvinceLuoyangChina
  4. 4.Division of Advanced Materials Engineering, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research CenterChonbuk National UniversityJeonbukSouth Korea

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